Reason 1: The Bush Administration
The small U.S. agency that oversees offshore drilling doesn't write or implement most safety regulations, having gradually shifted such responsibilities to the oil industry itself for more than a decade.
Instead, the Minerals Management Service—now caught up in the crisis of the Deepwater Horizon rig that for weeks has sent crude oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico—sets broad performance goals for the industry. Oil producers and drilling companies are then free to decide for themselves how to meet those goals, industry executives and former regulators say.
Reason 2: Peril to Wildlife
When something like the Deepwater Horizon incident goes down (pun intended), we're left with the decision of whether to help the marine life or the ecosystem of the fragile coastal marshland. Neither is a good decision. Neither is necessary if we simply don't create the potential for environmental disasters. The law of averages says shit happens!
Reason 3: Your Family's Bottom Line
I'm generally against using economics as an argument for or against doing the right thing when it comes to stewardship of the planet. In my view, it doesn't f'ing matter. What's right is right and damaging the ecosystem for the gain of a few - or even the many - is not right. Passing the damage on to the next generation for the benefit of the present is also just not right.
That said, not only do people respond to economic factors in environmental discourse but I personally believe that focusing on R & D can spur not only innovation but cash flow. I.E., the economy.
So here's a tidbit for you folks who are more concerned about your precious bottom line than your grandchildren's quality of life: This oil disaster could affect you! Don't think BP will pass the cost of this cleanup on to you? You're a fool. Don't think the rest of the oil industry will use BP's price hike as an excuse to hike their own prices? As if they're not already colluding. Don't believe it? You're only fooling yourself and they're gonna do it to you anyway.
Furthermore, this will disrupt shipping in the Gulf of Mexico for months. Imports and exports both. That's gonna raise prices on both. For you AND our trading partners. Which hurts America's economy since it will make it that much more enticing for other countries to get what little we DO export...from OTHER contries. More damage to the American job market.
Still thinking Drill, Baby, Drill? You're a fool.
Reason 4: History Repeats Itself
Remember the part above about how "shit happens"? Reminds me of a shirt I used to have that used the phrase to explain how different religions view the world. The reincarnation viewpoint was, "This shit happened before." There's another addage/axiom/idiom/what-have-you that applies here: History repeats itself.
If it happens once, it will happen again. I don't know if you're following this story at all. I mean it behooves you to, seeing how this affects all of us, but whatever. At any rate, you should know that there are supposed to be redundant systems to keep something like this from happening. I guess this is what happens when you allow AN INDUSTRY TO REGULATE ITSELF!
So guess what? The FINAL failsafe that FAILED in this case - the blowout preventer - is in question. This from the oil industry's own report. Oh - and they've known about it for at least 7 years.
They don't care. It would cost money to fix, so why should they fix it? Who's going to make them? They regulate themselves.
We, as a species, should stop offshore drilling. All of it. The risks are not worthwhile. What little petroleum we would need in a world that doesn't burn fossil fuels can be gained from old-fashioned ONshore drilling until we create innovative and eco-friendly new methods of manufacturing lubricants and plastics. We shouldn't have to decide between which ecosystem to attempt to save. We shouldn't continue to bet against the law of averages that says this will happen again.
We just shouldn't.