In spite of a vote by its committee on the environment to ban all deep sea drilling in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the European Parliament has rejected a moratorium on deep sea drilling for oil and gas. By doing so, the EU finds itself in a rather unfamiliar position: being farther to the right on an issue, more pragmatic and more firmly committed to acting in its own self-interest, than the United States.
Instead of shutting down drilling in its entirety, the EU is enacting a common-sense approach of more rigid safety standards and increased financial penalties on operating companies in the event of a spill.
President Obama and Secretary Salazar have destroyed American jobs while making our country even more dependent on foreign sources of oil. Not only was the moratorium unnecessary, most of the "reforms" they have enacted in the guise of "getting tough" will do nothing to prevent the types of problems that doomed the Deepwater Horizon. Instead, politicians that they are, they have merely thrown their radical environmental constituency a bone.
On Wednesday, while on a visit to Shetland, the UK energy secretary Chris Huhne said that deep sea drilling in the UK waters would continue regardless of Thursday’s vote in parliament.
Last week Mr Huhne issued a licence for Chevron to drill an exploratory well in the Lagavulin prospect 160 miles north of Shetland, a move criticised as “irresponsible” by environmental campaigners.
Cross-posted at VladEnBlog.