Beliefnet
Rod Dreher

oilrig.jpg
Business as usual, apparently:

Despite President Barack Obama’s promises of better safeguards for offshore drilling, federal regulators continue to approve plans for oil companies to drill in the Gulf of Mexico with minimal or no environmental analysis.
The Department of Interior’s Minerals Management Service has signed off on at least five new offshore drilling projects since June 2, when the agency’s acting director announced tougher safety regulations for drilling in the Gulf, a McClatchy review of public records has discovered.
Three of the projects were approved with waivers exempting them from detailed studies of their environmental impact — the same waiver the MMS granted to BP for the ill-fated well that’s been fouling the Gulf with crude for two months.
In a May 14 speech in the Rose Garden, Obama said he was “closing the loophole that has allowed some oil companies to bypass some critical environmental reviews.”
Environmental groups, however, say the loophole is as wide as ever and that the administration is allowing oil companies to proceed with drilling plans that may be just as flawed as BP’s, which concluded that a major spill was “unlikely” and that the company was equipped to manage even the worst-case blowout.
“It’s just outrageous,” said Kieran Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity, a coalition of conservation groups. “The whole world is screaming and . . . they’re just continuing to move this stuff through.”

“Whether we and our politicians know it or not, Nature is party to all our deals and decisions, and she has more votes, a longer memory, and a sterner sense of justice than we do”Wendell Berry.

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