Offshore Drilling in Gulf Officially Halted...Again
July 13, 2010
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico has officially been suspended, for the second time. The Obama administration responded to a court's ruling that its original drilling moratorium was too broad with a new suspension that more narrowly targets the riskiest wells in the Gulf. That's the interpretation of Monday's announcement from Elgie Holstein, a former Energy Department chief of staff, now working on the oil spill response for the Environmental Defense Fund. He says the new version still sticks to the intention of the original moratorium.
"It's that we need to find out what went wrong with the Deepwater Horizon well, and cannot go back to business as usual."
The new moratorium is based more on specific safety concerns and less on the simple depth of the well, which is a change from the original suspension.
Holstein says he understands concerns about a moratorium's effect on the already-struggling Gulf Coast economy, but in his view, it doesn't compare to the scale of the disaster the spill has caused.
"Not to mention the loss of 11 lives. And so, it seems to me to be perfectly reasonable to say, 'Let's figure out how to make sure this never happens again,' instead of just rushing back into business as usual."
The moratorium is set to lift November 30, unless the administration decides earlier that it is no longer necessary.