Obama Administration’s Plan For Arctic Offshore Drilling Safety: ‘I Believe There’s Not Going To Be An Oil Spill’

Obama Administration’s Plan For Arctic Offshore Drilling Safety: ‘I Believe There’s Not Going To Be An Oil Spill’

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Think Progress' Stephen Lacey writes:

With virtually no infrastructure available to clean up an oil spill in the sensitive Arctic, the Obama Administration is still pushing to get offshore drilling projects developed in the region.

What’s the messaging strategy from the Administration? Trust Shell.

Talking to reporters about exploration permits for Arctic waters yesterday, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar summed up the Administration’s approach: “I believe there’s not going to be an oil spill.”

Really?

Shell has faced more legal prosecutions for safety and environmental transgressions than any other major oil company drilling offshore in the North Sea.

And let’s remember, the Arctic is a place where the Coast Guard has warned “if [a spill] were to happen … we’d have nothing. We’re starting from ground zero today.”

Heck, even one of the world’s largest insurance pools refuses to back offshore drilling operations in the Arctic, saying the environment is “highly sensitive to damage” and that the risk is “hard to manage.”

Discussing the technique of foreshadowing, Russian playwright Anton Chekhov once wrote: “If in the first act you have hung a pistol on the wall, then in the following one it should be fired.”

As we see in the graphic below, Obama already proved himself a master of foreshadowing in the lead up to the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Let’s hope Salazar doesn’t do the same. (Hat tip to Greenpeace’s Joe Smyth for the image).

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