Yesterday, I mentioned that a lot of politicians don't seem to be learning any lessons from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. It seems that in Italy, however, some things are beng learnt.

A modification to the decree on offshore drilling has been approved, adding some basic security measures to offshore drilling platforms (a cynical mind like mine would wonder why these measures didn't exists yet...):

- all offshore drilling operations (both gas and oil) are now forbidden in national and regional marine protected areas (MPAs);

- all offshore drilling operations (both gas and oil ones) are now forbidden within 12 nautical miles from the perimeters of all MPAs (national and regional ones);

- all offshore oil-drilling operations are  forbidden within 5 nautical miles from the Italian coast line for the entire Italian perimeter;

- no more simplified environmental impact assessment (EIA) procedures, and the obligation of consulting the involved local communities (towns and provinces in the 12 miles area). The result of this consultation are non-binding, but it's the first time they are established for all off-shore drilling operations.

I guess you can call this progress, but the truth is, as long as we accept drilling anywhere, there will be accidents (the Deepwater Horizon rig was quite far from the shore). The best way to avoid accidents is to have a transition to clean energy now, and stop our dependency on fossil fuel.

More in Italian.