Drill Ban Too Harsh?

Louisiana depends on the oil and gas industry for more than 320,000 jobs. Even the areas hardest hit by the BP oil spill are hoping the US government will slacken its recent ban on offshore drilling.

In an article by the Associated Press, Chris Kahn, Dina Cappiello and Harry R. Weber say some energy experts, engineering consultants and Gulf Coast leaders have joined the oil companies to ask Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to change his mind about his ban on deepwater drilling, which is currently in effect until November 30th. Salazar said the BP spill demonstrated the oil industry wasn’t ready for another massive underwater blowout and ordered rigs to re-examine their equipment and safety procedures, says the article.

But now that the spill is close to being plugged, opponents to the ban hope to convince Salazar to lift the ban. Some claim that drilling was safe before the BP spill. Even Billy Nungesser, president of Plaquemines Parish, La., which was hard hit by the oil spill, is concerned about the ban.

“[He] said he’s seen attitudes change in his community now that the deepsea disaster is easing,” Kahn, Cappiello and Weber write. “Even though oil has been washing ashore for months and he’s fought constantly with BP and the government over their response, Nungesser thinks the ban should be lifted. Offshore drilling means jobs.”

To read the Associated Press article, click here: