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 California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has withdrawn his support for a plan that would expand drilling off the coast of California.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?
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.
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.
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.
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.