Charles Krauthammer wonders:
Here's my question: Why were we drilling in 5,000 feet of water in the first place?
Ooo, Ooo [note–how does one write that Horshack noise?] pick me: "because oil, an increasingly scarce, difficult to procure, and fundamentally dangerous commodity must be the basis of our energy policy." Or perhaps I could put this another way:
Conservation may be a sign of personal virtue, but it is not the basis for a sound energy policy
That's Dick Cheney, mocking the idea that our energy policy (in May of 2001) ought to consist entirely in fossil fuel procurement. Anyway, it's echoed in Krauthammer's attitude toward environmentalism:
Many reasons, but this one goes unmentioned: Environmental chic has driven us out there. As production from the shallower Gulf of Mexico wells declines, we go deep (1,000 feet and more) and ultra deep (5,000 feet and more), in part because environmentalists have succeeded in rendering the Pacific and nearly all the Atlantic coast off-limits to oil production. (President Obama's tentative, selective opening of some Atlantic and offshore Alaska sites is now dead.) And of course, in the safest of all places, on land, we've had a 30-year ban on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
That's right. Blame those same environmentalists who have been saying, for quite a while now, that "conservation" (only one aspect, by the way, of the view mocked by Cheney–no one argued that conservation was the basis of a sound energy policy) is a public virtue–precisely because of spills such as these.
*made some minor edits.