Defenders’ president Rodger Schlickeisen has just posted his opinion about President Obama’s recent decision to block offshore oil and gas drilling off the Atlantic coast and in parts of the Gulf of Mexico.
This welcome decision reverses President Obama’s announcement earlier this year that would have significantly expanded offshore drilling. Now, drilling won’t be allowed off the Atlantic or Pacific coasts, or in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, for at least the next five years. (However, oil companies still hope to expand drilling in the Arctic’s Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, which Defenders will continue to vigorously oppose.) In light of this year’s disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that continues to blight that region’s coastal environment and economy, suspending new offshore drilling is the right move, according to Rodger Schlickeisen:
If our society does not learn from our mistakes, we are doomed to repeat them, at the cost of irreparably damaging America’s important economic sectors that depend on clean coastal waters.
“We need to allow the facts and sound science to fully emerge from the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history; apply the hard lessons learned in the Gulf of Mexico to our future ocean management policies; and let improved well-control measures and redundant blowout preventers and other long-overdue safety systems guide us on a reasonable and measured path forward.
“If our society does not learn from our mistakes, we are doomed to repeat them, at the cost of irreparably damaging America’s important economic sectors that depend on clean coastal waters. Now is clearly not the time to take an ill-advised gamble with the Atlantic coast, Florida’s Gulf Coast, our Arctic Ocean, nor with the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.”
You can read Rodger’s full post on National Journal’s Environment and Energy blog.