Case for a Moratorium?


Okay, what the hell is it going to take? Any argument that the U.S. moratorium on offshore drilling “went too far” blew up late this morning (Sept. 2) about 80 miles offshore, south of Vermilion Bay. Early reports are that all 13 workers are accounted for, but one is injured. It’s an ongoing story this afternoon, but the timing is breathtaking.

The explosion at the site being identified as Vermilion Oil Rig 380, owned by Houston-based Mariner Energy, is a warning shot across our collective bow. We have to get a handle on this technology and rework whatever regulatory processes allowed us to get into this mess. “Full speed ahead” makes no sense when oil rigs (now plural) are exploding in the Gulf.

Details, no doubt, will emerge from this new explosion and hopefully the optimistic reports about the workers hold steady. But surely, this will put an end to those moronic “drill baby drill” chants.

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Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
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