"Apart from the "optics," the business-as-usual policies of MMS are just plain disastrous for the nation. "Okaloosa County blogger Bryan at Why Now? calls attention to this McClatchy news report:
MMS calls these exemptions "categorical exclusions."
WASHINGTON — Since the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig exploded on April 20, the Obama administration has granted oil and gas companies at least 27 exemptions from doing in-depth environmental studies of oil exploration and production in the Gulf of Mexico.
The waivers were granted despite President Barack Obama’s vow that his administration would launch a “relentless response effort” to stop the leak and prevent more damage to the gulf. One of them was dated Friday — the day after Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said he was temporarily halting offshore drilling.
The Obama administration started fumbling the "optics" (as they're pleased to put it in D.C.) of this man-made catastrophe since even before it happened. And, it seems, they haven't learned a thing since.
- First, Obama publicly comes out in favor of oil drilling in the Eastern Gulf just weeks before the Deepwater Horizon explosion.
- Second, even after the dimensions of the disaster become known the president stupidly reaffirms his commitment to putting at risk all life in the Gulf.
- Meanwhile, as the McClatchy report shows, no one in the Obama administration reigned in the drill-happy crazies at MMS. Before the river of oil even reached the shores of Louisiana, the agency was handing out more free passes for the oil industry to do its worst to the environment.
That MMS is allowed to continue giving oil companies a reasonable expectancy interest that they won't have to conduct environmental studies before being permitted to drill is categorically stupid if not downright insane.