Apparently, oil companies and politicians have really short memories, because oil drilling is about to expand in the Gulf of Mexico.
Interestingly, however, the environment doesn’t have such a short memory. The latest Gulf-of-Mexico oil spill, in the aftermath of an explosion onboard the DeepWater Horizon oil drilling platform, took place nearly four years ago. The ocean and marine life in the entire gulf is still suffering the effects, not only of the oil spill itself, but some of the methods employed to try and mitigate the spill. Cases against BP are still in court, but even they might be getting permission to drill again in the Gulf of Mexico, under a new lease signed by the US Department of the Interior (DOI) and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).
Aside from the short memory regarding the inherent dangers of petroleum extraction, what about the promises made to clean up the energy sources the Nation relies on? True, renewable energy utilization has doubled in under the last two terms of President Barack Obama but, at a tiny 9% of the entire energy scheme, there’s plenty of room for growth. That’s why this year’s BOEM and DOI Gulf-of-Mexico oil drilling leases are so worrying. By March, over 110 million acres (175,000 mi2) of the Gulf of Mexico will be available for lease by offshore oil drilling companies, possibly including BP.
It’s all part of the plan, you see, President Obama’s “all of the above” plan, which seems to just fall back on the old plan of “do whatever’s cheapest” and “we’ll fit in renewable if we have time after ruining the Gulf again.” Oil drilling, whether in the Gulf of Mexico or anywhere else, is just a bad idea. It may be a move toward energy independence, but it’s also a move toward environmental independence. The problem is, if we destroy the environment, we destroy ourselves.