May 5th, 2010
06:00 PM ET

U.S. policy on offshore oil drilling?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

As thousands of people work to contain that massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico - there are serious questions about future U.S. policy when it comes to offshore drilling.
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Fisherman, National Guard troops, volunteers and the oil company BP - which is responsible for the leak - are battling the oil spill with everything from steel to fire.

But there are growing concerns that if the oil reaches the shore - it will kill wildlife and damage the jobs of thousands of people in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. And the effects will be felt for years in the affected areas.

New offshore drilling has been banned in most U.S. waters since the early 1980s; but just a few weeks ago - President Obama announced plans to expand offshore oil drilling because of the country's energy and economic needs.

He said the federal government would start leasing some areas off the coasts of Virginia, Alaska and potentially Florida to oil companies.

Suddenly that doesn't seem like such a good idea.

The White House now says President Obama's offshore plans aren't set in stone. And a group of Democratic senators says any new plans for offshore drilling are "dead on arrival."

Even Some Republicans are changing their minds - Florida governor Charlie Crist, who has previously supported offshore drilling, now says it's quote "got to tabled, for sure." California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has withdrawn his support for a plan that would expand drilling off the coast of California.

Here’s my question to you: What should U.S. policy be when it comes to offshore oil drilling?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Ryan writes:
This is a very unfortunate disaster. I am concerned about the people, the environment, and the economic impact; however, we are in world of shrinking energy resources and we need oil. We need to get smarter and safer about drilling for oil but we can't stop drilling.

Sarah in Denver writes:
What should our policy be? No new offshore drilling. Period. Plus, the imposition of new and very stringent standards for the continuing operation of all existing wells.

Bob in Florida writes:
First thing, Jack, safety! This oil rig company did not have a $500,000 "remote" shut off safety device attached to the rig. This safety remote is required in almost every other country in the world, but because of the oil lobby, the U.S. government did not require this remote safety device. Unless the government gets serious about safety and the horrendous effects on the environment, we should not allow ANY drilling offshore.

Marie writes:
It's like canceling airline travel because an airplane crashed. Offshore drilling should be allowed under very strict security and safety rules and oil companies should not be allowed to get around them based on their contribution to a political party.

Gabe writes:
So far a half dozen birds and maybe a dolphin vs. a track record of tens of thousands of successful wells. You simply have to have a sense of balance, which the extreme environmentalists do not appear to have… We just have to be more careful and have more safeguards, but no matter what you do eventually bad things will happen.

Karen writes:
Oil is not working for us anymore in so many ways: politically, economically and environmentally. We are way overdue for sustainable, clean energy to bring our country back to what our founding fathers intended: freedom and independence.

Filed under: Offshore Drilling
soundoff (181 Responses)
  1. Ed from Texas

    We need to dispel this myth that more drilling will solve our problem. We consume 20 million barrels of oil per day while producing only 5 million. No amount of offshore drilling will significantly affect this gap. Additionally, because it is so expensive, it will only be drilled if the price of oil is high and we will have to pay the higher price. We must get off oil!!!


    May 5, 2010 at 1:52 pm |
  2. Russ in PA

    Until everyone in America decides they don't need clothes, food, DVDs, ipads, seems like we have to have a source of oil from somewhere, be it the US, Canada, Saudia Arabia, and all the rest of the oil producers. Oil is not just about energy: it's about manufacturing as well. Name something that isn't produced using oil... How about those solar panels. Or candles. Or Nikes. All oil...

    May 5, 2010 at 1:57 pm |
  3. Dee

    Since it seems that the main concern of everyone is "who will pay for this disaster" and NOT the potential for the destruction of the entire ecology of the Gulf, I guess our policy will still be "drill, baby, drill".

    It is DISGUSTING that the main concern is who will pay. WE ALL WILL PAY.

    May 5, 2010 at 2:04 pm |
  4. Rick McDaniel

    Offshore drilling is one of the riskiest ventures imaginable, and what we see now, is just HOW risky it can be.

    For the government to have any "cap" on liability for oil companies, doing such drilling, is irresponsible. $75 million is a drop in the bucket to what the damages will be from this catastrophe.

    It was bad enough, when we had to deal with hurricanes, but just plain accidents or human error, looks like it is even riskier.

    It is unlikely the damage will be reversed, no matter how much effort is exerted, in decades, if at all.

    Another issue is allowing an off shore company, to drill in the Gulf, friendly country company, or not.

    Drilling in oceans, is extremely risky business, and we all need to re-evaluate whether the potential for environmental disaster, is worth it.

    May 5, 2010 at 2:05 pm |
  5. JD

    We should discontinue offshore drilling immediately and throw all our efforts and resources at safe forms of energy. There's a satirical posting going around the Internet about a "huge wind spill in California." That's what we should be worrying about, not the loss of our southern coastline, fishing and tourist industries and the damage to the fragile species in our seas. If the current scenario can happen once, it will definitely happen again. Is it worth it?

    May 5, 2010 at 2:06 pm |
  6. Tony from Southport

    The technology is there to drill for oil offshore without this kind of catastrophic spill. Heavy fines need to be in place for those who don't use every precaution available. We will be using oil for many years to come. The question is will it be our own oil or oil from a foreign government. All sources of energy exploration should be considered, but for now and those many years to come, we drive and service our cars with oil products.

    May 5, 2010 at 2:07 pm |
  7. Susan Frost

    America's policy toward off-shore drilling? In a word, No. If that doesn't work, then Hell, No.

    Tuscaloosa AL

    May 5, 2010 at 2:09 pm |
  8. Jim

    Its a risk but needs to be done, what is the reason we hear nothing of the sweet oil in the Dakotas, is it the invironmentalist, more oil then all of the middle east, we need to drill there and tell our Arab friends(?) to go pound sand.

    Jim, Florida

    May 5, 2010 at 2:13 pm |
  9. Jim in Alabama

    I don't believe that this country can afford to reverse it's policy on offshore drilling because of the accident in the Gult. What we need is much tougher laws regarding safety regulations for off-shore drilling and strict enforecement of those laws. The irony in all this is that the so called "tree huggers" or Environmentalist extremists" are probably the first ones to complain about high oil prices. Finally, I think we have to devote more money and emphasis to wind and nuclear energy as well.

    May 5, 2010 at 2:13 pm |
  10. Blair

    Drill baby drill. Please, lets not let this be a reason to listen to all the tree huggers out there. Remember the snail darter????

    May 5, 2010 at 2:14 pm |
  11. Michael, Alexandria, VA

    Spill, Baby, Spill is the message. The moratorium continues, since one bad well can poison a whole coastline.

    May 5, 2010 at 2:20 pm |
  12. Greg in Cabot, AR

    Simple, just like in many stores, there is a sign that says "you break it, you buy it".

    The oil industry should pay for the entire costs of the clean up as well as damages to the innocent bystanders that lost money because fishing, boating, recreation and tourism were devastated.

    BP didn't have a problem with making billions of dollars in profits to give big bonuses to the executives and stock holders while cutting corners on little things like remote operated safety valves.

    Too bad that the reality check will be when we all pay more at the gas pump and Big Oil Exec's continue to get obscene salaries and tax breaks because they will be able to write off the expenses of cleaning up the mess they created.

    May 5, 2010 at 2:22 pm |
  13. frank in Valparaiso Indiana

    We are not going to drill our way out of needing oil. The numbers are not there.

    No deep wells unless there are increased liability limits and equipment to stop spills.

    Nuclear, coal, and oil are not worth the energy. Nuclear and coal boil water which is stupid.

    May 5, 2010 at 2:23 pm |
  14. David Alexandria VA

    Continue to make it safer, continue to make it happen. We will need oil for 50 years to come. As long as we have to buy it from someone else, we are economically and perhaps militarily vulnerable. It's time to acknowledge that you can't put a wind vane on the back of an F-16 and secure our shores.

    In the meantime, keep building sustainable energy capacity, including Nuclear, keep up the R&D both on alternative energy and on drilling safety/clean-up. If we're resolute and not idealistic, we'll get through this.

    May 5, 2010 at 2:24 pm |
  15. Chris

    Life would be much easier for the US if we were not dependent on foreign oil so the policy makes sense. However, until we can figure out a way to make it safer and have the disaster preventing technology actually work we should wait to roll out rigs off coast around the US.

    May 5, 2010 at 2:24 pm |
  16. JENNA

    What should U.S. policy be when it comes to offshore oil drilling?

    We shouldn't be drilling offshore for this very reason. We need to concentrate on getting OFF oil and ON greener means of energy.

    Roseville CA

    May 5, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
  17. John from Alabama

    Jack: President Obama should review the policy to offshore drilling for oil or natural gas. These policies should be reviewed every 12 months. The fines for oil spills should be $250,000,000 for the first 10 days, $350,000,000 for days 11 thru 20, and $500,000,000 for everyday there after. Congress needs to pass that type of law. This oil well is different than most wells, because it is a monster. BP needs to pay for everything and then be punished for being stupid and spoiling the Gulf Coast.

    May 5, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
  18. David Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    Do you/they/we REALLY want to gamble the entire East coast???

    May 5, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
  19. Ryan in Galesburg, IL

    Our policy should be to run like hell from this dangerous practice, which is what marine animals and fishermen in the gulf are having to do at this very moment.

    May 5, 2010 at 2:31 pm |
  20. Marie Prud`Homme

    I feel very sorry to see these poor animals affected by the oil spill and all those fishermen who are depending on the ocean. I am from Quebec and I know that there is plenty of oil naps in the north of Canada, it would be less risky to drill wells, if we are to keep on depending on oil. All that money spent cleaning up the mess and the loss of lives!

    May 5, 2010 at 2:35 pm |
  21. Hugo Kijne, Hoboken NJ

    The policy should be "don't drill, baby, don't." Ofshore drillling doesn't make the US energy independent and the risk mightily outweights the benefits, as we're seeing now. Obama's decision to allow a limited amount of drilling was an unnecessary concession to the right that he was immediately punished for.

    May 5, 2010 at 2:36 pm |
  22. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    We should be drilling a new well everyday to get as much oil as possible and eliminating the need to support Iran and other countries that use the money to support terrorists. Don't stop because of one issue. The Wright Brothers didn't stop with their first failure.

    May 5, 2010 at 2:37 pm |
  23. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    Offshore oil drilling is as relevant to our future as a buggy whip.

    May 5, 2010 at 2:42 pm |
  24. Ed from California

    If it means less expensive gas, then go for it. Except it won't. Our wonderful oil companies will still use OPEC's pricing. If you think for a second they won't, I have a bridge for sale, it's painted kinda gold. I wish Pres. Obama would nationalize, let's say Chevron. And Chevron becomes the only place where you can find affordable gas. Don't you think all the rest will follow? I do.

    May 5, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
  25. Gerry luimes

    So much for DEREGULATION when it comes tro off shore drilling.
    Needed is strict control ! This of course entails BETTER REGULATION
    Off shore drilling will absolutely restart,it will be necessary for quite a few years to come. The now learned lesson is: Proceed but make sure ALL possible safety measures are in place.
    gerry at edmonton.can.

    May 5, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
  26. marja hartzell-oforji

    All offshore drilling of oil should be stopped immediately and for good. It`s time to begin with alternative, environment friendly fuels.

    May 5, 2010 at 3:01 pm |
  27. steve in florida

    How about spend the half million on the shut-off valve next time. Skip a couple of "walking woman" BP feel-good commercials and its paid for. And keep Halliburton away from all government work. This is 12 concrete failures now in recent history. And definitly avoid all Halliburton / KBR shower stalls.

    May 5, 2010 at 3:01 pm |
  28. bob z fr ,pa.

    the riga are in the gulf since tha1940 and this is the first explosion and we don't know if it was a accident.we can't afford to shut them down

    May 5, 2010 at 3:05 pm |
  29. Barbara Leavitt

    These oil companies make billions of dollars every year. There needs to be better safe~guards against this sort of thing. Pretty much comes down to Greed. Once again. Not just one back up plan but at least two. We can see how well their second one worked.
    Henderson, NV

    May 5, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
  30. Eugene from California

    Our policy shoud be to insure another man made disaster doesn't occur from a well blow out, before new drilling begins. I'm all for drilling but the recent B.P. disaster indicates more safe guards are needed. By the way, where in the hell were the emergency cut off valves that the oil companies said would prevent these huge spills?

    May 5, 2010 at 3:10 pm |
  31. Joe, Chicago IL

    Drill. If we stop, we will be buying it from those that continue to drill and I am sure, there will be a markup.

    May 5, 2010 at 3:13 pm |
  32. Phil-WA State

    Shut it down...NOW. Focus on drilling ONshore, solar, wind, natural gas, hydro, nuclear and fuel cells. Sorry, coal miners...it's just too dangerous and has cost too many lives.

    May 5, 2010 at 3:13 pm |
  33. Kathryn Upton

    No Drilling in the gulf ever!!!

    May 5, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
  34. Kathryn Upton

    No Drilling in the Gulf ever!!! Would BP sell the oil to the US. While in Alaska last year I was told by the locals that ALL of the OIL in Alaska was sold to CHINA.

    May 5, 2010 at 3:16 pm |
  35. David Gerstenfeld

    Still allow drilling ONLY if the timetable from drilling to gas in my tank doesn't exceed a certain time limit like 6 years. If it can't be done, spend the time & money on new technologies.
    David, Las Vegas

    May 5, 2010 at 3:19 pm |
  36. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    We should allow any oil company that wants to drill offshore full freedom to do so with the following conditions: They are responsible for all costs of any environmental, economic and lifestyle damage they cause as a result of such drilling. In the event of such damage they will be required to cease all offshore operations permanently. Then they must invest 100% in renewable energy resources and be prohibited from ever drilling offshore again.

    Keep in mind, offshore oil is not ours and we have no claim to it. That oil goes to the world at large. We just suffer the damage and still have to fight for our share in the form of high prices.

    May 5, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
  37. Maria

    Off-shore drilling is barely better than mine drilling. I don't care what company steps up and says they will pay for damages...it's too late. The massive oceanic damage is done and can't be restored with dollars (typical U.S. attitude). No drilling off-shore.



    May 5, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
  38. Danny Horn logan, Ohio

    Well Jack, I think we our getting it in the butt again, ?, have you saw any of the under water pictures of the ? 8-12 pipes from the drilling plat form, remenber that platform drills that many holes.

    Reason I asked, it easy you would need one each automatic shut off for each pipe?, now we our going to put a box over it. it smell again.

    Would you look into it, with your eyes, to me this is another cover up, and you know who is paying for it., as this spreads the other rigs will have to shut down and we will be back to $5.00 a gallon gas.

    Trust me on this one, because you can't trust them. dan horn logan, ohio

    May 5, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
  39. Cheryl in Bluffton, SC

    It saddens me that President Obama "compromised" with the Republicans by allowing more drilling. Fossil fuels are a thing of the past; let's focus our American resources and innnovation on the new cleaner technologies that MUST be our future.

    May 5, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
  40. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    I am a liberal, Jack BUT I think all the ultra-left knee jerk reaction to this accident is foolish.

    America needs domestic oil production for our security. the problem was BP and their contractor TransOcean trying to drill on the cheap by NOT using the most state of the art blowout prevention devices. they and the people of the Gulf coast got bit by their mistake. just shows, like with mine safety, that we need stronger regulation of the industry NOT that we should STOP drilling OR mining coal for that matter.

    May 5, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
  41. Kathie

    no offshore drilling. BP is already trying to weasel out of their accountability for the problem they created!

    May 5, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
  42. Bill - Upper NYS

    Sometimes you as so simple questions, Jack. Part One of the answer: "GO GREEN". The second part is make the oil companies pay for their screw-ups from their profits and forbid them from passing it on to us. The third part is no more GOP exemptions from tough regulations. I'll bet you saw that coming.

    May 5, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
  43. Marc from San Diego

    It should be phased out as quickly as possible, and replaced with other forms of clean energy that would create jobs here at home. The problem is that it's too simple for our politicians to figure it out.

    May 5, 2010 at 3:35 pm |
  44. Steve, Clifton, VA

    The policy should be to only drill off shore near countries in the Middle East where the vast majority of our energy expenditures are paid

    May 5, 2010 at 3:35 pm |
  45. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    Those in favor of the "drill, baby, drill" should collect their tea bags and go to the gulf and dip the bags in then make tea with it. As soon as all the oil has been cleaned and the wildlife restored they can have a say, if they haven't already choked on their "Texas tea".

    May 5, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
  46. Glenton from Los Angeles

    We should phase it out completely over the next 20 years. What people don't understand is that just because we drill offshore doesn't mean that all of that oil goes to us. It is sold on the world market so it could end up in China (along with the rest of our money).

    What we need to do is develop as much renewable energy as we can. We should tax ourselves modestly to ween ourselves off our addiction to oil. It's not the answer that everyone wants to hear, but it's the solution to the problem.

    May 5, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
  47. Harold in Anchorage

    We need better safety features on the rigs; we also need to ezploit the fields between Florida and Cuba before China does

    May 5, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
  48. pat in michigan

    the policy is simple . if there is available oil in the U.S. anywhere we should drill extract and shut down all exports from the middle east. We are in this mess with these wars because of their oil.
    When we leave someone else will be the great satan.
    They are nuts and we don't need them.

    May 5, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
  49. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    Let's not jump to judgement here. See what the outcome is with this Gulf situation. If it is addressed and the problem resolved with minimum damage,then keep drilling. If this problem cannot be solved and causes massive damage to our country then I believe they don't know enough about the technology and can't control the outcome so,more study is needed before anymore drilling takes place.

    May 5, 2010 at 3:46 pm |
  50. E. Stone

    We should require "SAFEGUARDS" that work and make the oil companies responsible for all costs incurred in their "ACIDENTS"

    May 5, 2010 at 3:46 pm |
  51. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    Oil companies should be responsible for any leak that occurs down to the very last drop. They screw the people enough with their high prices so let them pay all the bills for cleanup.

    May 5, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
  52. Albert K. in Los Angeles, CA

    Hey Jack, how’s that ‘Drill Baby Drill” workin’out fo-ya, huh? Imagine the mess; oil gushing from the seafloor with hurricane season only four weeks away. Oil platforms at sea are as stupid as installing toilets on kitchen counters where they will spillover into the stockpot. If Stephen Hawking is correct and E.T. may be nearby, then our offshore drilling / onshore catastrophes must be the most hilarious sitcom in the universe.

    May 5, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
  53. Steve

    Offshore drilling should be allowed. There were safeguards in place which failed..Find out why and fix the problem. The energy business, no matter if its coal, oil, or nuclear is dangerous. Thats why there are rules. IF they are followed, the risks are minimized. We want energy, but scream bloody murder if something goes wrong. We cannot have it both ways..

    May 5, 2010 at 4:00 pm |

    Stop all new off shore drilling. Get serious about energy conservation. Put money into alternative fuels. Inact new taxation on those that insist on buying fuel hogs, i.e. Hummers etal. Expand cities' public transportation systems. Stop urban sprawl. Get smart instead of greedy.

    May 5, 2010 at 4:01 pm |
  55. David from Herndon, VA

    No new offshore drilling. This thing is a huge wakeup call. Say what you want about global warming, but offshore drilling and carbon fuel use in general cause a lot of problems both for the environment and for our health.

    You want energy security? Provide tax incentives for conservation and installation of solar panels.

    A terrorist can blow up an oil refinery. He can't blow up 100 million houses.

    May 5, 2010 at 4:04 pm |
  56. Jim


    The parallel with nuclear energy is clear. Offshore drilling can be of benefit to us as long as it's safe. U.S. policy should be to require all modern known safety features and fine the owners right down to the bolts when a disastrous spill or meltdown occurs.

    Reno, Nevada

    May 5, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
  57. Sue from Ct

    Our policy should include all the safeguards that are necessary for safe extraction of the oil and the rigs should be inspected frequently.

    May 5, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
  58. Kirk Neuman (Apple Valley, MN)

    What part of "spill baby spill" don't people understand?

    May 5, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
  59. Bizz Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    Jack, I literally get sick to stomach when I see what is happening to Louisiana and the Gulf coast shoreline. I live close to 3 Mile Island and experienced the scary situation of someone's mistake at that plant. After the 3 Mile Island scare there came more strict and gov't enforced inspections. I think this is what is needed. After all, these companies makes billions of dollars in profit they should be able to afford a better inspection system and state of the art safety equipment to the gov't satisfaction that this cannot happen again. If they cannot do that than they should be shut down until they can.

    May 5, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
  60. Janice From Delaware

    Off shore drilling for wind farm platforms only !!!!

    May 5, 2010 at 4:22 pm |
  61. Minesh - Troy, MI

    Jack, we will need to continue offshore drilling because cars don't run on wind or solar power.

    May 5, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
  62. Mchael in Phoenix

    The united states should allow drilling anywhere there is oil. The oil must stay in the country and the latest technology should be used to ensure then environmental disasters do not happen.

    May 5, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
  63. san jose Ca

    We all want oil, just in somebody else's backyard.

    May 5, 2010 at 4:33 pm |
  64. Will Thomas

    Offshore drilling is the sugar of our economy. Oil spills like this are the ugly cavity. Either we reduce or oil consumption or expect a painful root canal every 10-20 years.

    Temple, TX

    May 5, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  65. Leslie

    I seem to remember Ms Palin saying " Drill baby drill". This is what happens when things go wrong. Now just imagine that happening on all three of our water borders at the same time. Our policy should be one of environmental safety. Also, should there be a spill the company that is doing the drilling must pay for the clean up under the direction of the EPA at no cost or penalty to the tax payers either by an unnecessary rate hike due to the spill or a companies unwillingness to drill. Because when the oil companies say they are not making any money. That is a big load of ... No company is in the business of not making money especially them. They know and take those risks everyday before they drill one inch so they should have to pay for it when their equipment breaks

    May 5, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
  66. Alex in Gig Harbor, WA

    Since we need the oil, we should at least have first-world safety and spill prevention regulation. Disregard whatever deals Dick Cheney made with big oil and make them at least spend $500,000,000 on the safety valve that would have prevented this man-made crisis.

    May 5, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  67. Bonnie in Arkansas

    I was for it before I was against it - after this.

    May 5, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  68. R.Schultz in St. Paul, MN

    We can stop offshore drilling, but then we'll be importing from more countries for our oil, many of which are drilling off of their shores anyways. So, what's the difference, other than it being even more difficult to "Buy American" than it already is?

    May 5, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  69. Bernie of Lowell, MA

    Jack: There's a common factor in all of our recent 'crises'. Toyota, Goldman-Sachs, BP, ENRON, unsafe drugs on the market, mine disasters... this sort of scrutiny isn't the "Big Brother" exaggeration that gets us all scared....

    There's a complete lack of morality whenever someone isn't watching.

    May 5, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  70. Mike

    I'm still in the drill, baby, drill club. There has been offshore drilling in the Gilf since the 1930s and there are 4,000 rigs now. With over 150,000 rig operating years, there have been just two significant accidents. That's actually a pretty darn good safety record. This was an engineering failure. We'll fix it and more on; because that's what Americans do.

    May 5, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  71. Greg H - Minneapolis

    Jack, it should be the policy of the U.S. to start drilling off the coast of China exactly the same distance from the U.S. that they are now drilling in the Gulf of Mexico! To hear "environmentalists" say it, ANY drilling is a disaster waiting to happen and they point to this instance as "proof", along with the Exxon Valdeze disaster. And yet today Prince William Sound is much better than it was 20+ years ago. Until oil can be 100% phased OUT of our lives, we should go after it wherever it may be found. And that includes ANWAR!!

    May 5, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  72. Jim Z..Ft. Worth...Texas

    Jack, make it simple...they should be responsible for all cleanup, damages and all related losses due to oil spills.

    May 5, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  73. Kevin in Dallas

    Obviously, we should look at what improvements could be made to the rig design, and determine if that would provide an acceptable level of safety and security. Hopefully rig design hasn't been stagnant for the last thirty years.

    May 5, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  74. Sylvain

    It will take a lot more than a few thousand pounds of dead schrimp, a flock of sand bound seagulls and dying sea turtles to stop americans from driving their SUV's and 4×4 around town on a sunday afternoon, Jack! Let's face it, Exxon Valdez didn't teach us anything, I doubt this one will.

    May 5, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  75. Joe CE

    Should be on hold until this disaster is evaluated. The oil company is resonsible & should pay – the cap on damages is way too low. But the government has not done its job either. No identification of worst case senario, no identification or location of needed recovery resources. Right now way too few booms and skimmers and nobody looking for any unused. Homeland Security screwed this up just like Katrina = no planning ot preperation. Homeland Security shoulkd not have the lead on natural or man made disasasters
    , especially with Napolitano in charge, her one intrest is to facilitate illegals.

    May 5, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  76. KDS Irvine, CA

    It was to my understanding that the oil spill happened because a tanker sank. It had nothing to do with drilling for oil. However this happened just happened weeks after the president said he would expand off shore drilling. I think the message should be that we (the USA) are still committed to reducing our dependency on foreign oil and would like to launch off shore drilling in the future after the incident in Louisiana has been investigated and the problems solved.

    May 5, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  77. Bob in Tampa, Fl

    We need it to be allowed, however, we also need to update the standards and safety mechanisms that were found, not to not work, back in 2004. They were not updated then, why, I don't know.

    May 5, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  78. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, the hysterics from this oil spill are going to ensure that offshore drilling continues to be blocked for the foreseeable future. Never mind that this is one incident from thousands of working wells supplying 30% of our domestic oil production. These offshore wells are one piece of an energy program that could wean us from foreign energy, however, a few environmentalists will block any expansion, and another small group will block Nuclear energy, and another small group will block coal. We will continue to pay Trillions each year to foreign countries for our energy, while they use the funds to finance terrorists aimed solidly at killing U.S. citizens any way they can. Just plain stupid!

    May 5, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  79. Michael H. in Albuquerque, NM

    By now President Obama has realized he made a HUGE mistake when he recommended offshore drilling. And, I think he should publicly admit to his mistake with the promise of learning from it.
    As for what our policy toward off shore drilling: offshoring anything has become a disaster and should be stopped. We must proceed to develope alternatives.
    Hemp never caused an ecological disaster. Soy beans and corn never distroyed the environment. Fuel from algae is safe to make. Let's do something "Beyond Petroleum".

    May 5, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  80. Joe in VA

    What are the options, Jack ? Environmentalists don't like coal, mining plentiful oil shale or tar sands, no nukes. They love wind and solar, ( though meaningful quantities are a generation away) until it is time to build a facility, then they come out in opposition with all sorts of obscure reasons. You don't see England considering stopping drilling in the north sea. Tell me of any energy source that is within reach and is risk free.

    This is a major problem but it will get fixed and the technology will improve as a result. Stopping offshore drilling in not an option unless we want to all be riding bikes from New York to LA. We must learn from this disaster and make it safer but we cannot stop.

    May 5, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  81. Tim C


    We better keep drilling. Accidents happen, that is just a fact of human life. We will only get smarter and safer from the current spill.

    Its time to stop focusing on who is to blame and start focusing on what technology we can use to keep this from happening again.

    The public needs to understand that almost everything we touch is made from oil, not just diesel and gasoline.


    May 5, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  82. Bernie of Lowell, MA

    Just wait, Jack The real anger will come when us taxpayers get the bill for the massive cleanup effort. Unfortunately, the anger will be directed at our President.

    The real anger must be directed at the CEO's who approved shortcuts in safety to bolster the 'bottom line'.

    Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman, Alan Greenspan... are among the greatest mythologists ever!

    May 5, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  83. Eric - Houston

    First, set good safety and liability regulations and enforce them. Second, drill where these regulations can be effectively applied. There will always be risk, what we need to do is minimize and mitigate them as best we can. Frankly, even though US production will not change the price of energy, every barrel of US oil means now about $60 spent here on US jobs, taxes and profit rather than going overseas. We cannot afford not to maximize US energy, we just have to learn, improve and do our best.

    May 5, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  84. Cliff Glass - Rego Park, New York


    All countries, other than the U.S., require the installation of acoustic triggers on offshore oil rigs and have managed to avoid any catastrophic spills like we are seeing now the the Gulf of Mexico.

    Only in a political system where campaign contributions make policy have such safeguards become secondary. Until the United States accepts a policy of legislative recusal – whereby politcians cannot vote on legislation affecting groups from whom they have accepted money will we truly have public policy.

    May 5, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  85. Julie from Louisiana

    Being from Louisiana and knowing how important this industry is to this state, I hope this doesn't stop the drilling. Even though this was a horrible accident, they just don't happen very often. China and Cuba will continue to drill and where will it leave us if we stop.

    May 5, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  86. Fay in Abilene ,Tx.

    The Administration and governors of vulnerable coastal states should not be the only ones having this epiphany. All Americans ought to be demanding major energy/environmental legislation which does not invite offshore drilling. However, the "drill baby drill" oil industry supporters will not be silenced for long.

    May 5, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  87. Chryssa

    Conservatives whined to "Drill, baby, drill", and they whined about job creation. They got both.

    Boise, ID

    May 5, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  88. Doug - Dallas

    U.S. policy should be to develop a comprehensive energy plan but since Washington won't do that, we are forced to continue to drill, pollute the air and now the water and shores. It's another example of how the inaction by Washington impacts the entire planet and screws it's own citizens.

    May 5, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  89. John in Flagstaff

    Change the law so that if more than 1000 barrels of oil are released into the ocean, the CEO of the company responsible will be executed.

    Then let the CEO decide for himself whether he's confident enough that it's safe to drill that he'd bet his life on it, and how many redundant safety systems he's willing to pay for to get to that level of confidence.

    And that's why CEOs make the big bucks...

    May 5, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  90. Scott Stodden

    I think the policy should be that if we're going to drill for oil offshore we should investigate to see if its safe and if things like this explosion that happened when the oil rig sank into the ocean, are these types of practices safe and is it worth it!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    May 5, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  91. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Accidents happen Jack. There are over 7000 wells in the gulf and in the last decade only 7000 gallons of crude has been spilled do to accidents. Ships come in daily that could sink at any moment or a rig could be hit by a hurricane. To stop drilling is stupid. America would perish with out oil. Our economy would crumble overnight. The only thing politicians need to be worried about are the policies governing drilling. These people that blew up on that rig certainly did not plan on this happening. We need to learn from what happened and take steps to make sure it never happens again. The price of oil has steadily risen every since the rig blew up. Imagine what would happen if we simply cut off all off shore drilling and pumping? You think the economy is bad now just wait.

    May 5, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  92. Linda in Arizona

    Stop it NOW. It was always a bad idea, and this environmental disaster doesn't change that. Are we going to drill until there isn't a drop left anywhere? Just stop it.

    May 5, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  93. Mark, Oklahoma City

    I say put another ten thousand oil derricks in the Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico as soon as possible. I don't really like seafood and I never go to the beach. Problem solved.

    May 5, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  94. Midwest Jim

    If drilling continues require redundant bow out valves on all rigs. Require bonds from companies in case of spills. Make all of us oil users pay the real costs of such drilling.

    May 5, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  95. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    It means we need to increase and diversify our energy sources and improved regulations in order to protect the livelihood of people, our economy and our environment in order to build a real sustainable energy policy of the 21st century!

    May 5, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  96. Dennis north Carolina

    as we still use cars and trucks which uses gas and oil, I would say drill baby drill.

    May 5, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  97. Sylvain

    Here is why we will keep drilling:

    Irak Oil import: 506 thousand barrels a day
    Irak War cost: 700 Billion and counting
    Irak Casualties: 4400 men and women

    Gulf Oil production: 200 thousand barrels a day
    Gulf Coast Clean-up : 100 million (estimate)
    Gulf Casualties: 10 men on the platform.

    May 5, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  98. Jesse J Vancouver Canada

    Hi Jack,

    The policy on offshore drilling should be very simple.
    1) a triple redundant deep sea shut off system
    2) drilling / oil company must keep 10,000 Km worth of oil booms and a skimming ships at the ready at all times
    3) Oil rigs and surrounding areas to be inspected 12 times a year by the EPA and Green Peace
    4) a fine of 10 billion dollars for any oil spill over 100 barrels

    Bet you 10 billion dollars that there wouldn't be any spills ever!

    Jesse J
    Vancouver Canada

    May 5, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  99. Ralph Spyer

    The Native Americans religions and their Gods had respect for the mother earth, The white man god in dixie and the Republicans call for drill baby drill. Well at least if we stop offshore drilling now in 20 or 30 years life will return to our Gulf?

    May 5, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  100. Jim - Michigan


    We need to drill, our economy demands it and despite people crying about it – our demand for energy simply out paces our resrves. China drill in the Gulf so what happens when we pull out and there is an accident – do we demand China to stop? Oil drilling has many, many safety feature but like anything in life sometimes accidents happen.

    We either drill, build more nuclear facilities and use our coal while we develop and create the infrastructure to create green energy or we go back to the pre-industrial age. All those Green loving fanatics need to understand that we cannot turn our country green over night, the technology needs to be developed and the infrastructure build – this will take decades and until this has happened we need all the oil, coal and nuclear power we can find/generate.

    May 5, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  101. John from San Antonio

    We should adopt the policy we should have adopted in th 70's. Brazil developed alternative energy and though they are not totally independent they are not a hostage. Remaining dependent on oil is going to be fatal to our environment unless it destroys us first. It looks to be a neck and neck race to see which is destroyed first.

    May 5, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  102. Gigi Oregon

    America needs to go Green. Other countries are years ahead of us in this. It's the new world vision. The longer we support oil and fight the countries we purchase oil from, the more backwards we become. We need to elect younger minds into government leadership that care more about "World Survival" and less about about being on "Forbes 500 list".
    Go Green!

    May 5, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  103. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    Look, this is a total disaster and safety and environmental measures for offshore drilling need to be revisited, but O&G is a dangerous business and accidents cannot always be prevented. The fact is we still need the oil. We are a fossil fuel based economy. We need to become as energy independant as possible and that comes from using all the resources at our disposal, not by tying our hands behind our back. Unless technology advances at hyper speed in the renewable energy department there are no realistic alternatives. Our way of life is going to become increasingly expensive if we don't bury our head in the sand and pretend magic is going to save us one day.

    May 5, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  104. Gary H. Boyd

    It's actually quite simple Jack. Switch focus to the Bakken Formation in Montana and North Dakota which the US Energy Information Agency (EIA) estimates contains 503 billion barrels. (That's billion barrels Jack) - Largest in the world.
    With the price of crude oil at $80./barrel, it is now economically feasible. And, incidently Jack, it would eliminate our dependence on foreign oil for well over the next century while offering relief to our national debt.

    Gary in Arizona (Retired Senior Real Estate Agent, Texaco USA)

    May 5, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  105. g

    every oil company in the gulf is foriegn owned, all there head quarters are in other countries so they don,t have to pay taxes in the u.s.a.they should all be booted out

    May 5, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  106. frankie

    President Obama had said that offshore drilling should be increased on a limited and careful and short-term basis, so that people could have jobs and we could have enough energy, while on the road to developing better energy sources. This is all still true. Are we able to put safety shut-off valves on our current offshore wells as well as any new ones? That would be good.

    May 5, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  107. Jason

    Depends on campaign donations...

    Jason, Oakland

    May 5, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  108. Jeff in Minnesota

    I'm sorry, but if we want to keep our standard of living, we need oil and we need it from sources closer to home and from people who like us. Alternative fuels are nice to talk about, but they are not going to supply us with gasoline and electricity any time soon. I'm all for protecting the environment. But when it comes to my survival or the survival of the deer and antelope, I'm picking me.

    May 5, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  109. Karen Virginia

    I support offshore drilling simply because I don't want to be held hostage by OPEC anymore! We need to drill so that we can wean ourselves off imported oil. Get real, people! One oil spill doesn't make offshore drilling unsafe just as one oil tanker spill doesn't make tankers unsafe. Stop playing Chicken Little with every disaster! DRILL, BABY, DRILL! JOBS! JOBS! JOBS!

    May 5, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  110. Sam Dallas

    A tough but sensible policy that is not based on 'Drill baby drill should be adpoted. It is unfortunate that some individuals are making politics out of this, People like Michael Brown a pathetic loser, a mediocre who failed the nation during Katrina.

    May 5, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  111. Hunter Covill

    Offshore drilling would be a triumph for the American economy. However, it is an excuse for America too uphold our addiction to oil. As long as we keep drilling alternative energy will be put aside. We are a society of procrastinators and we will not segue into alternative energy until oil is gone. However this rig disaster in the Gulf has made damn sure that offshore drilling won't happen. It's awfully funny how as soon as Obama supports offshore drilling a rig 50 miles off shore blows up, creating one of the largest environmental disasters of all time. I believe that either radical environmentalists sabotaged the rig in order to halt offshore drilling or it was a group of rightwingers trying to trnish our president's image. Politics are a scary thing.

    May 5, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  112. Viv from NY

    Drop it like a hot potato and move on to do some Clean SAFE energy alternatives.
    How much oil did we just waste ? The extent of the damage will be seen for years. Wind Baby WIND

    May 5, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  113. Mike

    We need stricter regulations on the drilling companies. They may be "costly" (Bush's words) but obviously necessary.

    May 5, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  114. Sharon A. Grindstaff

    Yeah, drilling's a great idea. Between the spills, the idiots turning pythons loose in the everglades, those whacky jumping fish eating everything on their way north .... yeah, drilling's swell.
    If we had sufficient renewable sources of energy. the supply we DO have would be enough ... particularly with electric cars and trucks (like the wonderful ones Ford made a few years ago and then destroyed). I'd MUCH rather look out my window and see windmills on the ocean instead of oil slicks.

    May 5, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  115. John, Fort Collins, CO

    We should put a halt to ofshore oil drilling for two reasons: number one, to protect the environment until proven, failsafe production technology is availiable, secondly to reserve our U.S. oil supply for national emergencies. Okay, there is another important not-to-be-talked-about reason: why not suck the Middle East dry of oil as quickly as possible to the point they can no longer fund terrorist attacks.

    May 5, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  116. marcy, margate,fl.

    The only good thing that has come out of this oil spill is your first sentence, Jack: Thousands of people work.........

    No more oil drilling.

    Why is Freddie Mac asking for more tax payer money Jack? Why are you not reporting on this? Hasn't the tax payer paid out enough money?

    May 5, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  117. Bruce

    Make an announcement of the truth: All oil which is drilled goes to the "world market", and physical proximity has nothing to do with "our" supply! We don't own it. The global corporations and traders do. We merely provide 20 billion in tax breaks to big oil, and minimize their inspections(foreign safety regulations are tighter).

    May 5, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  118. Jeremy D from MI

    We should spend more money and effort on new energy technology (like cars that can run on carbon and emit water) instead of putting our coastal economies at risk from oil pollution. If we did that, then maybe we can get out of this economic mess.

    May 5, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  119. Ralph Spyer

    Let the Repubicans who called for Drill baby Drill drink their Kool aid made with Gulf water

    May 5, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  120. Jack

    The oil spill is aldready affecting wild life.We need to find cleaner and safer energy alternatives.

    May 5, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  121. Ryan Leslie

    This is a very unfortunate disaster. I am concerned about the people, the environment, and the economic impact; however, we are in world of shrinking energy resources and we need oil. We need to get smarter and safer about drilling for oil but we can't stop drilling.

    May 5, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  122. Pied Type

    What should our policy be? No new offshore drilling. Period. Plus, the imposition of new and very stringent standards for the continuing operation of all existing wells.


    May 5, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  123. Bob

    Jack, as you know oil companies currently spend .25 percent of thier billions on research and development. I not only think we should not drill off shore. I would love to see the goverment tell Big Oil and the Auto folks that starting in 2025 it will be a Federal crime to produce gas combusion engines. Of course the Fed's aren't doing to well enforcing Federal laws (immigration) but we can hope. Just imagine no global warming, no smog, no thousands of deaths from breathing problems an oh yea the middle east has sand and heat so they can make glass.

    May 5, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  124. myron

    Why not offshore wind farms or offshore solar farm ??? What we need is fuel cell technology for all transportation. That will end our dependency on oil domestic and foreign

    May 5, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  125. Marie

    It's like cancelling airline travel because an airplane crashed. Offshore drilling should be allowed under very strict security and safety rules and oil companies should not be allowed to get around them depending on their contribution to a political party.

    May 5, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  126. Mark K- Jacksonville Florida

    CNN initially reported that a "special valve, inexpensive by oil standards, 500K" was not used on drilling nor required in American Waters, yet it is required in European and Mideast waters when drilling for oil. If this is so Why? Was Congress aware and did they vote to allow this?

    May 5, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  127. rich s.in bellingham

    when the US takes over countries for their oil then they should use that oil in stead of drilling.

    May 5, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  128. Pat Garlinghouse

    Rancho Murieta, California

    Jack, this should be taken as a wake-up call. Whatever happened to all the plans for "green" energy? With President Obama's apparent back tracking on that and his decision to open the U.S. to more oil drilling, we were again heading toward more ecological disasters like this one and the Exxon disaster in Alaska. I guess it takes a disaster to get people's attention.

    May 5, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  129. Anthony Miraglia

    Jack the answer is pure and simple. No drilling off shore no way no how! The US is about 10% of the world's population, yet we consume 25% of the world's resources. Like Europeans, we will need to pay more or use less, period. Oh I'm sorry, can we really ask people who feel entitled to do with less?

    May 5, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  130. djh-TEXAS

    Jack it's simple:


    May 5, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  131. Smith in Oregon

    America should be weaning itself from the horrific Republican lawmakers push to satisfy its primary donors in Big Oil, Big Coal and Big on burning fossil fuels.

    World wide crude oil fields have peaked and are declining, NOW it is more critical than ever to switch to electrical powered transportation and greatly decrease America's total dependence on Big Oil, Big Coal and Big on burning fossil fuels.

    The total costs to American Taxpayers is far, far greater than that constantly spewed out of the mouths of Republican lawmakers. Figure in health costs, toxic waste cleanups and Superfund sites, carbon offsets and alternative sources of energy are nearly equal to the same price and do not have the health costs, toxic waste nor Superfund sites as it's legacy.

    May 5, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  132. Birddog in Mississippi

    Not here, not now. If we are to add more offshore drilling, we had better first 'study' the situation – regardless of what Ms. "Drill baby drill" has to say about it. Personally, I am more concerned with the nuclear end of things. An oil spill is a horrific thing, a nuclear 'spill' is beyond disaster. We this was safe – turns out we were wrong. We think nuclear is safe. What if it turns out that we're wrong about that?

    May 5, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  133. Michael Danish

    Our politicians are complete morons. We all agree that this country has an addiction to oil. So, the solution that Washington comes up with is....MORE OIL. It is clear that the oil industry owns every republican, plus a few corporate democrats like Mary Landrieu. We need a clean energy policy to create green jobs Enough of these dirty fossil fuels.

    May 5, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  134. Karen Seidmon

    Oil is not working for us anymore in so many ways: politically, economically and environmentally. We are way overdue for sustainable, clean energy to bring our country back to what our founding fathers intended: freedom and independence.

    May 5, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  135. Vilia Haggard

    I really don't think there should be any off-shore drilling. Proponents like tom say if a plane crashes you don't close down airports, you keep flying. Well this is NOT the same! One oil spill is one too many. Too much harm is done to the environment and to peoples' livelihood, to make it not worth it as far as I'm concerned. Get those windmill farms going, etc. And as long as we still have the drilling option, ALL heads will not be put together to come up with better solutions !!!!!

    May 5, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  136. Pat in Rutherfordton, NC

    Gas rationing.

    May 5, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  137. Jason Gill

    Discussions of America's offshore drilling policy are irrelevant given the current business model of our government. As long as politicians accept money from major industry to fund their reelection campaigns, we will never have comprehensive and responsible oversight within these sectors. It's a conflict of interest for America to regulate and hold accountable the entities creating environmental and economic disasters that pay our politicians. The culture of government in this country has to change. Responsible exploration can occur but only when you have responsible oversight. A corporation whose primary concern is increasing profits will not regulate itself because it cuts into those quarterly profits. New offshore drilling definitely needs to be halted. Accidents like this may not occur often, but it only takes one event to permanently damage the resource that we depend on for survival.

    May 5, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  138. james pensoneault

    its simple put the safety valve with its back up on all the wells and lets start the drilling after that is done. its shameful that Bp would not pay the extra $750,000 per well. i bet they wish they had now. and why doesn't President Obama order them now through executive order.
    be the prudent thing to do right away

    May 5, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  139. Steve D

    The policy should be NO NO NO. I was shocked to hear the Mississippi Governor try to downplay this accident as the 1st from many wells in almost 40 years. We don't know the full extent of this accident yet but we do know the damage caused by the Exxon Valdez and the Alaska oil line pipe burst. What if the final out come of this accident is NO MORE Gulf shrimp, crabs, or clams...ever!!!! When you hear one of these bought and paid for politicians make one of these absurd statements it makes you want to vomit. In the case of three mile island we dodged a bullet but it only takes one unexpected accident. One "we thought it would work" safety device failure to end life as we know it. To me thats one too many and the risk reward formula answer is NO OFFSHORE drilling and NO MORE NUKES!!!!

    May 5, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  140. gabe williger

    So far a half dozen birds, maybe a dolphin vs a track record of tens of thousands of successful wells. You simply have to have a sense of balance, which the extreme environmentalists do not appear to have.. I think they should be limited to bicycles.
    We just have to be more careful and have more safeguards, but no matter what you do eventually bad things will happen

    May 5, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  141. Terry LaVallie

    I don't think we have much of choice. We need every source of energy we can get so we can stop funding the people who are trying to kill us.
    I expect safer drilling technology will come as a result of this spill so lets get on with it. Anybody who does'nt think energy is a national security issue has their head in the sand.

    May 5, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  142. Butch, NC

    With the myriad of problems that CAN occur with offshore drilling (such as the present spill) and the increasing likelihood that these problems will happen if offshore drilling is increased as the president has decided, the decision should be to either drill baby drill, or shut down the seafood industry. These drilling spills will undoubtedly happen at an increased rate, should the president's plan to drill become fact. I also wonder what happened to all of the pres's pre-election rhetoric about promoting increased innovations in the realm of green energy? LIke so much else this president has SAID...not much has happened to make it reality.

    May 5, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  143. Bonnie de Luna, Michigan

    Jack, No way should we continue to drill for oil. I hesitate to suggest this for fear it might get BP off the hook and the taxpapers responsible for cleanup . . . but do you think it possible this could be a terrorist act. What a coincidence that it happened shortly after Obama suggested offshore drilling in addition to our green energy policy. When Sarah Palin was saying "Drill, Baby, Drill" . . . no one took her seriously. When Obama suggested it, perhaps our suppliers in the Middle East became worried that they would lose their best customer.

    May 5, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  144. Paolo - Jacksonville Florida

    This is a No Brainer Jack

    Obama needs to:

    1) put a stop to all new offshore oil exploration

    2) Start a "Manhattan Type Project" for developing clean, renewable fuels, and fuel cell technology.

    This would get us off foreign oil, clean up the environment, and put thousands of Americans back to work.

    And about those hundreds of Oil Rigs already in the Gulf ... Lease the property from Big Oil and convert them to wind turbines!

    May 5, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  145. Geoff

    Let's be serious. No matter how many windmills and solar panels we build, they will provide less than 10% of what we need to grow.

    And, nuclear will be 5 to 10 years away, assuming our vaunted leaders allow construction to begin tomorrow.

    No, if we want enough energy to keep our cars running and our planes flying we will need oil and lots of it.

    It's a lot easier and cheaper to spend a little more on well safety than to send billions, if not trillions to Iran and Venezuela, while they destabilize the world.

    May 5, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  146. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    We're not going to takeover the oil in the Middle East and they aren't going to give it to us. Either we have a policy for off shore drilling or we continue to let OPEC dictate their policy and prices.

    May 5, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  147. Ken Dollinger

    You and Wolf hit the nail on the head. Disasters, even ones as infrequent as this, are impossible to totally prevent. We don't shut down the airline industry after every airline tragedy or recommend outlawing vehicles when we loose thousands in traffic fatalities. If the left and right coasts don't want offshore drilling, so be it. But let's temper their fervor with a prohibition on providing any petroleum products originating from Gulf of Mexico exploration and production to those same states.

    May 5, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  148. Jim Blevins

    We need much stronger liability laws. Exxon has yet to fully clean-up the Valdez spill and has had their damage award greatly reduced. The fear is that BP will end up paying only a fraction of the real costs of this spill. There should be much tighter approval and monitoring of off-shore drilling. Until such time as we have much better safeguards, monitoring and liability guaranties, off-shore drilling should be frozen.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    May 5, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  149. Ken in NC

    On the way back from the moon when oxygen tanks exploded the crew uttered those those immortal words, "Huston We Have A Problem". The jerry rigged it, came home, found what caused it and continued space travel. When the Challenger exploded we found the problem and fixed it and continued space travel.

    When this is finished we should find the cause, fix it and continue to drill with the oil companies knowing that "You Break It, You Fix IT". No exceptions and no limits on the cost. What has happened is sad but we must fix it, make it safer and keep moving forward.

    May 5, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  150. David Vancouver Canada

    In 40 years of offshore drilling and tens of thousands of wells drilled, these accidents from rigs are rare.Have better reponse systems in place, like these domes built beforehand.Just think about this in under developed nations like Nigeria.Since 1969 there has being a spill of the Exxon Valedeze maginitude every single year.America never hears about it, because it does not affect Americas coastline.So do you let them drill and spill and pay 10 bucks a gallon?Or put better spill response measures in place in the gulf?Untill energy renewable infrastructure is in place. America will need offshore drilling.Do you trust things in the middle east to remain quiet Jack?

    May 5, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  151. Ken

    Why are none of the media mentioning the leak of the Alaska pipeline that was supposed to be maintained by BP.
    Or in 2005, the Texas City, TX BP refinery explosion, cause of which was later reported to be operator failure.
    Am I the only one who sees a pattern? This company is dangerous!

    May 5, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  152. maggie

    When oil companies and their govenment official friends put profit ahead of the safety of our public trust, they should be charged with Ecoterrorism and all those involved should be jailed, and their business should be liquidated and used to pay for the damages. That should be the law. The US is supposedly the best at everything.... Well............ we aren't the best at protecting ourselves with proper safety precautions on many fronts. It is so embarrassing.
    What has happened is criminal! Dick Cheney should come out and appologize to the world and Mother Earth.

    May 5, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  153. Sharon

    I live on the coast in SW Florida, and I am already seeing the economic effects of the imprending oil spill's arrival on our shores. The US should have taken Brazil's approach in the 70's and began looking for alternative energies. It makes no sense to pursue a fossil fuel which will be depleted soon, even if we discover oil, and especially if it puts our coastlines at risk, economically and environmentally. When will we wake up and look for a renewable energy source?

    May 5, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  154. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    We should be more careful and and have secondary cut offs. there's oil rigs as far as the eye can see in the Gulf and we depend on it our country would come to a dead stop without it when ever we have a foot hold on green energy then we can let go of oil but until then it is our life force and without it we could not move food heat our homes among other things. we are making a deal with the devil but our choice is slim .

    May 5, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  155. Gordon

    Hi Jack

    Godon here in Canada
    They will continue to drill , continue to have spills , an countinue to have excutives from BP come on CNN and tell us they will pay for all the damages and clean up the mess .

    Not one will tell us where the money is comming from . Sure they will pay , from the increased profits they get when they raise the cost at the pumps . they will countinue to make there high profits an you an I will pay for there mistakes . Nothing changes only gets worse !

    May 5, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  156. John in East Syracuse, New York

    Jack, the policy should be that all offshore drilling rigs must be equipped with maximum safety features regardless of cost, that all must employ trained safety officers certified by OSHA, and that all companies engaged in drilling must operate under new contracts making them financially liable for all costs of mishaps –no ceilings. Once this regimen is put completely in place, no new offshore drilling should be considered until after a five-year period has elapsed to evaluate the new situation. The industry must prove it can operate safely or it must be shut down.

    May 5, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  157. marty

    Drill baby drill doesn't seem like such of a good idea now.

    May 5, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  158. Herb, Tampa

    Let's see Jack, we have an oil spill in the Gulf, another refinery blew up today, coal miners being killed, etc.,etc.,etc. I got an idea, how about using sun, wind and water to produce the additional energy we need? It wouldn't hurt for people to retain rainwater on their property for irrigation and to run their toilets, either. Lots of ways out there to get the job done, we just have to do it and wean ourselves from drillin' and diggn'.

    May 5, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  159. A.B.

    Well, jack, I think that U.S. policy on off shore drilling should be this: Ban it permanently due to the unacceptable environmental and economic risks to communities and to the country. We should develop alternative energy sources and learn to conserve and even reduce our reliance on the fossil fuels that we currently use. We consume and waste a disproportionate amount of fossil fuel relative to other nations. The oil spill in the Gulf region is the latest and worst occurance that could have permanent repercusions for the economy and environment. Remember Love Cannal, the Alaskan Veldez and other environmental disasters.

    May 5, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  160. Tim in Texas

    New oil drilling is out for now. Natural gas is cleaner, safer, and cheaper. And we have an abundant supply of it. The only reason to 'drill baby drill' is to 'pay baby pay.' Meaning, the oil companies make big, big profits, pay no taxes, and have the general population hoodwinked into believing that oil is the only alternative. We could conserve a great deal of the energy we waste everyday, start simultaneously with natural gas and alternative energies and be oil independent in about ten years. The only thing stopping us is the profits of big oil.

    May 5, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  161. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    Thomas Friedman stated in his book Hot, Flat, and Crowded that if Ronald Regan had not reversed the CAFE rules that the Carter administration enacted, by the late 1980's we would not have had to import one drop of foreign oil.

    I think if we spend the hundreds of billions upon hundreds of billions of dollars planned for new oil wells, nuclear power, revamped electrical grid and put that money into renewable's, every American home, commercial business, and dwelling could generate their own power. It is time we go from central distributed electricity to distributed energy. There will be no need for offshore drilling, imports, or fossil fuel consumption. Plus we might save our planet and our species, all while creating enough jobs for every American who wishes to work.

    May 5, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  162. Steve St. Louis

    BP answers to a company called Trans Ocean, and they do not pay taxes because they are stationed in the cayman Islands and Switzerland. Their Profits are in the high billions.
    They are the ones responsible for this oil leak. It is their equipment that failed and was not up to par.
    Not only do they not pay taxes while polluting American waters and land now, but our Government allows this to happen.
    We really don't have a Government that tells the truth and cares about this once great Country.
    Good bye America.
    Mammoth Lakes Ca.

    May 5, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  163. kirk Hohenberger

    much has been said about how advanced the oil industry is, and we allow them to drill in waters when they don't even know how to stop a leak.They should not be allowed to continue to drill untill they do.As far as paying costs, they should be responsible for all costs, clean up, loss of income, jobs, and killing of wildlife, if you were to kill a brown pelican, you could be fined ten thousand dollars, we need to put a value on wildlife, bp should be fined for every bird killed, and that money put in a fund to help wildlife, and possibly purchased future habitat for wildlife.

    May 5, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  164. John Barichivich - Zachary, La.

    Jack – The answer to your question is quite simple, however, it can only be answered by another question; Do we in the US want to continue to be continually dependent on other countries for our energy supply?? The correct response is No!! We consume much more energy than we produce. Wind, Solar are fine and technology shoud continue in these fields, however, these are, truthfully just a drop in the bucket considering our needs. It is necessary to assess what went wrong and hold BP, Transocean, Halliburton responsible for this disaster, take a step back, but do not, not give up on Drilling. The adverse effect will be that we will continue subserviant to others for our vast, hungry need for more energy.

    May 5, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  165. Barry

    Suspend all drilling for new wells until the oil company engineers add enough redundant and diverse engineered safety devices that, in the event of an accident, would require three separate failures before oil gets into the environment. Independent safety inspectors would have to approve the designs and inspect their installation. No resumption of drilling until the inspectors sign off.

    Before that, purge the Dept of Interior's Minerals Management Service (MMS) of decision makers who have the appearance of a potential conflict of interest. The head of MMS and one of her deputies are Obama administration appointees with experience in environmental protection, but they are both lawyers, not safety engineers. The other deputy has engineering experience but is a Bush administration appointee. Obama should review MMS rules that keep MMS staff from being too cozy with the industry they regulate.

    May 5, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  166. Barbara

    For me, to get my support for new off shore oil drilling will be whether the oil industry will lessen its greed and accept the cost of strict regulations. It's disgusting that the rich US oil barons were successful in lobbying the secret Cheney energy task force such that they didn't have to be required to spend an estimated $500,000 per rig for those safety caps which likely would have limited this disaster, safety caps which are mandatory on oil rigs operated by businesses of other countries. Although it has been said, that from the first day to this sheer greed is what has driven civilization, I say that sheer greed is what will eventually kill civilization.

    May 5, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  167. Jan - Lancaster, PA

    Language in the Preamble to the Constitution includes: "promote the general Welfare". Understood that this is open to interpretation but when it comes to the country & business, it is absolutely crtitical that regulations are imposed to ensure the general welfare. When there were safety precautions available for implementation but the Congress & businesses were too greedy to incorporate those precautions into the industry then shame on them. Look at the losses of the seafood industries, tourism, farming, parks & recreation, wildlife conservation, etc. to say nothing of the wildlife & marine life impacted by the short sighted, irresponsible, and as far as I'm concerned criminal negligence of all who deregulated this industry.

    May 5, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  168. Nancy M., Tennessee

    Off shore drilling is proving to be not such a good idea. Looks like accidents happen and we don't know what to do about the mess. The news reports sound like some science fiction movie where we are racing against time to stop the blob. Contaminating any source of food is not acceptable. We need to rethink how to obtain the fuel we need. U. S. policy should not be made until someone finds some better fail safe methods for drilling offshore.

    May 5, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  169. Mark K- Jacksonville Florida

    Jack, I read the post on the Bakken formation in Montana. if this is the case WHY are we drilling in the pristine waters and beaches of the Gulf? I do not believe we should stop drilling but we need improved safety standards taken to a new level, such as the valve first reported by CNN. Which could have averted this disaster with a simple cut off. Was Congress aware? Please follow-up. We need to Know. Elections are fast approaching we have a lot to have the facts on.

    May 5, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  170. mark L

    I suppose we could ban offshore drilling, and then import more oil from Achmadinejad, Chavez and Putin.....then, we can hope that none of the tankers leak, sink or have other failings as has been so often in the past.

    Folks if we want less environmental damage, we need to consume less and ensure that whatever drilling we do allow has ALL of the latest technology and safety equipment available. And, if there is a disaster, the company should face the FULL cost of fixing it and paying for lost work for those affected.


    May 5, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  171. •BEVERLY-Mystic,Iowa

    Very well put, Gigi.

    May 5, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  172. sharon wright

    Al Gore, where are you????
    By the way BP won't be paying for this cleanup...we will. Also, BP, how will your big bucks replace the ill effected marine life? Clean up cost millions and millions of dollars...... Marine life...clean water....priceless!
    How in the world could we support offshore drilling, when it takes one week for the oil companies to fix a problem that is devastating to the marine life and people of the area???????
    Did someone say 210,000 gallons each day??????

    May 5, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  173. Sue

    Maybe if there hadn't been back room deals that Cheney made with the oil companies we wouldn't be in this situation. They might have even put in the safety valves if he hadn't been taking care of it.
    Then there is that far far right Palin that says drill baby drill and also drill here, drill now.
    I guess it depends which political party you belong to.
    I choose to be against drilling. If we have to have oil it is better to buy it than to ruin our waterways.
    We need good green vehicles.

    May 5, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  174. Richard, (I)IN

    I don't care who is at fault. This is a failure on multiple levels. What happened to fail-safe measures? A button someone has to push? Really?!? That worked well? I want heads on a platter from BP, Transocean, and anyone else involved, including the clowns in Washington that decided we don't need the safety measure everyone else on the planet requires.

    Now to the question at hand: we should continue off shore drilling. We can't afford not to, unless you don't mind funding terrorist activity. We also need to have real disaster containment systems – not a milk carton with a straw. How about a valve held open by and electric solenoid? Surely power generation ceased days before the rig sank.

    Common sense safety consultant for hire.

    May 5, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  175. Maria Kenez

    This is more of a question than a comment. Can the water and oil (and debris) that comes out during the leak be collected and then separated? Or, can the oil be causgh before it mixed heavily?

    Better yet, I have an idea: Create a new opening using a good shut off mechanism to manipulate the pressure at the accidental leak, so that it would be easier to cap. It is almost like using controlled burn for forests.

    May 5, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
  176. John in Flagstaff

    What the "we need the oil, so we need to keep drilling" people don't seem to understand is that the oil pumped from the Gulf doesn't necessarily come to the US, just because it's coming out of rigs US waters. The oil is sold on the open market, and may very well go to France or Japan or China.

    May 5, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
  177. james balkema

    Closing the oil well after an accident should be the priority, losing the well should be the price paid for the accident, not losing the beach!

    BP is spending too much time trying to save the well for further production, while unconcerned about the mess they are making during repairs.

    What is the price of drilling that well? What is the price of the gulf coast?

    Blow the Well! Save the Beach!

    May 5, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
  178. Jan - Lancaster, PA

    Let's face it. Big business simply does not care about safety. They had the option to incorporate safety measures & didn't. Until our so called representation in Washington steps up and as the Constitution says, "promote the General welfare" and regulates big business, our small business, quality of life, and existence as the United States of America is seriosly in jeopardy. We were all dragged into this globalization without those making decisions having any plan for the future of this country to incorporate industry & jobs for Americans. It was all about money for the very few ... and it still is.

    May 5, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  179. RobsterVa

    Remembering the ultimate payout from EXXON to the citizens of Alaska, I really hope people don't expect too much in the future. If they get what they deserve, why were Alaskans denied the same? Crying shame, where were the emergency plans beyond a simple answer which failed from the start? Accountability is due!

    May 5, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  180. sharon w. richford vermont -

    Al Gore, where are you????
    By the way BP won't be paying for this cleanup...we will... Also, BP how will your big bucks replace the lost and ill-effected marine life? Sure, clean up will cost millions and millions......Marine life, clean water...Priceless.
    How in the world could we support offshore drilling, when it takes one week for the oil companies to fix a problem that is devastating to the marine life and people of the area???
    Did someone say 210,000 gallons each day?????

    May 5, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
  181. Mina Kapadia

    Q. Oil drilling in the water is not new.Why do not they program strategical policy in case there is a leak.No company should be allowed to drill in water unless they have such program.Damag to environment, marine lives,also humans connected with related sea shore is greater then loss of oil.

    May 5, 2010 at 6:48 pm |