The Political Response to the Gulf Coast Oil Spill
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, Louisiana Congressman Charlie Melancon, and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. Photograph courtesy of MMS.
Three weeks after the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion, with hundreds of gallons of oil still flowing into the Gulf of Mexico, Senators John Kerry and Joe Lieberman plan to roll out their climate and energy bill, which includes provisions to expand offshore drilling and cut carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050. In the meantime, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announces plans to divide the responsibilities of the Minerals Management Service, the agency that oversees offshore drilling.
The Senate climate and energy bill may have only a slim chance of passing unless the public shows widespread support for the legislation, which appears to be growing in light of the oil spill. At least the MMS’s conflicting interests won’t be mixed like oil and water.