Goes Back to Bubba
By DICK MORRIS & EILEEN MCGANN
Published in the New York Post on June 15, 2010
The Gulf oil spill that's so bedeviling President Obama has its roots back in the Clinton years.
In 1995, President Bill Clinton signed the Outer Continental Shelf Deepwater Royalty Relief Act, which exempted oil wells drilled deep in the Gulf from the normal royalty payments to the government.
Usually, these payments amount to between 12 percent
and 16 percent of their revenues, so the exemption did a great deal to catalyze
drilling in deep waters in the
The Deepwater Horizon well, where drilling began in
2001, was one of those catalyzed by the
The latter figure represents about 6 percent of total
The legislation was pushed avidly by Republicans in
Congress, particularly those representing the very
In contrast to the licensing of nuclear power plants,
which we require to spend vast amounts of time and money to develop failsafe
systems, very little thought was given (obviously) to how to stop an explosion
that would trigger a vast spill, how to plug the hole or how to stop the oil
from reaching Gulf and Atlantic coast beaches. Instead, the industry took its
This decision to embark on vast Gulf oil drilling was, of course, the correct one. But the failure to think through how to avert a disaster like what's now on our hands is the height of irresponsibility.
All three administrations -- Clinton, Bush, and Obama -- bear the blame for this abject failure. None took the danger of a massive spill seriously or sought to hold up the massive expansion of offshore drilling until failsafe measures could be developed.
Ironically, the crisis that arguably put Obama in the
White House was also rooted in the
As we suffer now for past failures of foresight and
planning, perhaps it's time to start taking closer looks at what
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