As I saw the news this morning that a judge in Louisiana has overturned the moratorium on deepwater drilling, I had the distinct feeling I live on a different planet from that judge. He called the moratorium “arbitrary and capricious”.
I fail to see what’s capricious about asking to review a technology which is responsible for 60 million gallons of oil being leaked in the Gulf of Mexico – and two months after the original explosion, still leaking. I also fail to see what’s arbitrary about wanting to review a culture of cosiness between the oil industry and their regulators, and checking just how stringent the security requirements are.
A lot of people, me included, were under the impression that the Deepwater Horizon blowout would be the wake-up call for the US to really change its energy policy – but judge Martin Feldman, along with many others calling for more offshore drilling, seem to be sleeping right through it. Hiding behind the blinds of a failed energy policy, they fail to see that oil companies are not acting in the public interest – by encouraging an oil addiction that only they can feed, pushing for lower security requirement to increase their profit margin, and using public subsidies to do all that. BP has been incredibly careless – it doesn’t mean it’s the only oil company we shouldn’t trust – the rest of big oil can be tied to phantom oil spill response plans.
Oil companies aren’t in this for the public interest, and you can bet they’re going to keep opposing any kind of plan to quit oil. Deepwater Horizon is everyone’s wake-up call to stop listening to them. Don’t sleep through the alarm.