Today’s Sunday morning news shows were dedicated, in large part, to the unfolding oil spill disaster in the Gulf Coast, as efforts continue to contain the 210,000 gallons of oil a day that are still leaking. The leak has reignited debate over offshore oil drilling, with the Obama administration saying that “further commitments for offshore drilling must await an investigation of the causes of the rig explosion and leak.” Even conservative darling and drilling proponent Marco Rubio said that the spill should make us “rethink” our drilling technologies.
Today, on Fox News Sunday, Fox’s Brit Hume said that, while his pro-drilling stance has not been changed by the disaster, the spill validates the concern of environmentalists who warned that such a disaster was inevitable:
Think about what the environmentalists have always said about this. Is it’s not a matter of if there’ll be a disaster of this kind resulting in this kind of offshore drilling, it’s only a matter of when. This verifies that argument, and becomes a powerful factor in the debate over what to do next. I don’t see any way around the political reality that this will set back the cause of offshore drilling in the United States.
The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol, though, showed no hesitation about continuing offshore drilling efforts, saying “I’m a drill, baby, drill person.” He made the case that we should actually undertake more drilling closer to the shore, because it’s “less dangerous, less treacherous than trying to drill fifty miles out from the coast.”
Admiral Thad Allen, Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, who is now in charge of the federal response to the disaster, said yesterday that “it’s logical to assume” that the coasts of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida will be hit by the oil spill. As The Wonk Room’s Brad Johnson pointed out, if estimates about the flow of oil are accurate, this spill will be “on the scale of the largest oil spills in history.”