From the Washington Post:
Many policymakers think that the record before the BP oil spill was exemplary. In a House hearing Thursday, Rep. John J. “Jimmy” Duncan Jr. (R-Tenn.) said, “It’s almost an astonishingly safe, clean history that we have there in the gulf.” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said the industry’s “history of safety over all of those times” had provided the “empirical foundation” for U.S. policy.
But federal records tell a different story. They show a steady stream of oil spills dumping 517,847 barrels of petroleum — which would fill an equivalent number of standard American bathtubs — into the Gulf of Mexico between 1964 and 2009. The spills killed thousands of birds and soiled beaches as far away as Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Altogether, they poured twice as much as oil into U.S. waters as the Exxon Valdez tanker did when it ran aground in 1989.
I think most people assumed offshore drilling wasn’t safe, no matter how much Democrats were pushing it; it’s just common sense. A little oil in the bathtub makes the bathwater oily. Because it’s water, and…well, you know the rest. But this unsafe? Why don’t we just set off all our nukes and be done with it?