Share your views on hot topics

Is it still “drill baby drill” in light of the spill?

May 4, 2010

“Drill baby, drill” was an enduring rally cry from Republicans in the 2008 presidential election. This past March, President Obama unveiled plans for a limited expansion of offshore oil drilling, in part to try to win GOP support for climate change legislation.


Then an undersea oil well ruptured in the Gulf of Mexico.

The oil spill that is threatening the coast of Louisiana has provided ammunition to critics of Obama’s proposal, and the White House sought to make clear there would be no new drilling authorized until the cause of the spill had been reviewed.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said that he no longer will support a plan to expand drilling off California’s coast. Schwarzenegger said televised images of the oil slick moving toward the Gulf Coast prompted his change of heart.

Should plans by President Obama to expand oil drilling off the eastern coast be scrubbed?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

I do think that the off shore drill should be looked at very closly. Need to reajust thinking as far as explotions on them and maybe dubble piping. But this should not stop drilling forever. This is a solution and must be looked in too. I am sure there are newer ways to do this. I bet if someone would offer a bonus to come up with a way to drill safe and to decrease spillage and make it profitable to do so it can be done. But to stop this is a short sighted crossed eyes narrow minded closed minded person. This was a disaster. That should be cleaned up by all oil companys and help from US. But the Earth is stronger than any human intervention. If it weren’t we would have been drowning in oil water long time ago. Yes people need to keep enviroment cleaned but to think that humans can clean all areas is probibly impossible without nature being able to self clean.
Something like this only make people want to lay more laws and make it look like they are doing something about this problem but more laws don’t clean things up it just put more money in the pockets of gov’t pockets. Let alone politicians who think the can make a name for themself. That won’t clean up anything. I don’t see any of them with mud boot on and out there helping to clean up the mess just flapping their gums like that will do anything good except put more moisture in the air!

Posted by hidell1 | Report as abusive

“But the Earth is stronger than any human intervention”.

The point isn’t whether the Earth will still exist despite our impact. The Earth will be fine, human intervention is killing humans.

Posted by RD422 | Report as abusive

“But the Earth is stronger than any human intervention.”
Yes, the Earth will survive everything we throw at her, pollution, oil spills, CO2, etc. Humans may not do so well, however. Modern humans have only existed on the planet for an “eyeblink” of its 4.5 billion years. We could easily go the way of the dinos at our own hands before we get even close to their lifetime on Earth.

Posted by jackmo | Report as abusive

I feel we still should look forward into the future. I feel we still at this time need to drill more to ween off forign oil. But I also believe we should push twice as hard for more sustainable renewable energy.
what is happening in the gulf is bad no denying that. British Petrolium needs to take full responsability. not that “we will take financial responability to reasonable expences and damages” thats just saying you can submit all the claims you want we wont pay a dime. The US government needs to slap them with a nice bill and make a law they can’t pass it onto us the consumer.

Posted by Skalvinek | Report as abusive

No dividends, no bonuses, executive pay cuts, no credits to retained earnings until all damages are satisfied. Equity and fixed income investors alike must suffer from consequences like the rest of the world. They directly profited from $3.00 per gallon gas prices, now they need to directly pay the costs. They assumed the rewards of $3.00 per gallon gas, they should assume the risk of environmental damage. Do not pass these costs on to the consumer or taxpayer. We have did our part by paying these outrageous 3.00 per gallon gasoline prices. This is criminal negligence and needs to be punished. Period.

Posted by garrisongold | Report as abusive

Spill Baby Spill

Posted by ksira | Report as abusive

If an airplane crashes and kills a few hundred PEOPLE do we immediately stop flying airplanes?

Posted by thisisme | Report as abusive

An airplane crash does not carry long-lasting environmental impacts even fractionally on the same scale as what this one horrible mistake will cost. Great attempt at a correlation though.

Posted by pyradius | Report as abusive

Canada has lots of secure, safe oil, lets trade with them. Offshore coastal oil production is to risky if you consider the competing uses for these waters. There are alternatives.

Posted by Honker | Report as abusive

The problem seems to be our old friend, or maybe our worse enemy, lack of regulation. This is nothing more than the logical outcome of Bush’s faith based economic system.

Norway operators put $500K sonar valves that would have prevented this from happening but when that was requested of US operators the last administration felt that would prevent drilling.

Now in hindsight we see it would have saved Billions and not harmed the fishing industry, too bad you don’t have any fishermen in congress, you won’t find any coal miners there either.

Posted by jstaf | Report as abusive

Why is is that humans are the only species that takes a dump where they eat? Americans are the biggest pigs on the planet with our “Masters of the Universe” mentality. We must be forced to cut consumption of oil….we need gas ratining and high gasoline taxes, except on commercial vehicles. What about the future generations?

We have no incentives to stop being selfish gluttons. As the days and weeks of destruction to the Gulf are lapped up by the media. every picture should remind us that ALL of us are to blame. Pray for high gas prices and people will abandon their gas guzzling pick up trucks, SUVs and Hummers. If they could only get one tank of gas per week, they might be more careful about how they use it.

Posted by 5280hi | Report as abusive

“boy, what a profit margin.” 500K sonar valves would prevent drilling? The risk of blowout did not prevent drilling? What else are they telling us? The moon is inhabited with crab lice?

Posted by Gen4FL | Report as abusive

I agree with all who said, “We must be forced to curtail our consumption NOW.” Perhaps we would not even have to consider off-shore drilling if we were not such oil gluttons in the US. Obama has us spending billions on bank bail-outs and constant attention has been given to health care, but there is no big initiative for the public to consume less gas/oil. Why?? The car industry was bailed out to resume its old practices. The money should have been conditional on promoting alternative energy cars. I think that our oil consumption is linked somehow to all the dire issues our nation is facing, but I am not exactly clear why. Can someone recommend a book to me so I can read about this? Why isn’t the issue of our over-consumption being talked about in relation to this spill (or not in relation to the spill!).

Posted by r.felder | Report as abusive

The potential for a spill was there when he made his decision. One actually happening doesn’t change the risk.

If it was a good idea before, it’s still one now.

Posted by drewbie | Report as abusive

My understanding is that “Obama’s” drilling proposal was really a compromise with what the Republicans have been pressing for. So I am not sure if it should be billed as “his proposal.”

Posted by jmmx | Report as abusive

One of the biggest problems with our political debate is that many proponents of drilling mistakenly believe that off-shore and other domestic US drilling will bring “our” oil to “us,” thereby reducing America’s need to buy “foreign” oil.

Oil is a global market — it is extracted throughout the world, and sold through commodities exchanges throughout the world. Opening additional domestic drilling doesn’t mean that American companies will sell the resulting oil & gas to Americans; it could be foreign oil companies (like BP or Royal Dutch Shell) doing the drilling, and foreign customers (like China or India) buying that “American” oil. The minimal price reduction that resulted from the small increase in global supply would impact all countries equally.

Does anyone honestly believe that most Americans would support an increased risk of oil spills — and resulting economic damage — on our coastlines if they knew that the oil produced would go to China? Or that the benefits would help Japanese and Indians as much as Americans? Explain to the average American that they will bear an additional risk so that others can enjoy the benefits and you will see their support vanish.

Posted by maczieg | Report as abusive

This was BP’s third mishap in five years.

Posted by ken419 | Report as abusive

to avoid this happen again everybody should buy electric cars now on.
next year all electric plug in cars are availables to buy at $20.000 or lease for $250 a month with performance of 50 miles in one single charge. with this gas save, (the lease is paying off by it self) , so no excuses . this will help a lot .
so less talk!!!!!!, and more action everybody!!!

Posted by cascada | Report as abusive

Its very sad to see that this spill is insufficient to deter 37% of voters from supporting additional drilling. No amount of domestic drilling can significantly reduce the amount of oil imported to the US or the price of oil, and it is said to see that some commentators here are still laboring under that delusion. We are close to or have passed peak oil, and even if we put all our resources into developing a civilization which could function without hydrocarbons, we would be hard pressed to get this done before the oil ran out.

Concerning regulation of financial markets and our ability to quickly and painlessly invade and restructure foreign countries, most of us (excepting the 10-30% who are apparently incapable of learning) have learned our lessons the hard way. What needs to change is the US’s reliance on the automobile, low density development, and excess consumption.

Anyone who thinks more drilling can do anything to help us avoid eventual disaster is not paying enough attention to the facts of our situation. With one of our two politically parties peddling delusions of this sort as a means of seeking power, it is not surprising that a significant number of people believe them. I’m sure the conservative fisherman, hoteliers, tour leaders, and others in Southern Louisiana largely voted for “spill baby spill”, so here is exhibit A for people never learn.

Posted by reconstructions | Report as abusive

Indeed we should stop offshore drilling. We should put all current resources devoted to drilling into alternative energies.

The argument of lowering the cost of oil and gasoline by allowing more drilling is not accurate. Most of the cost increase associated with oil is directly linked to the value of the dollar. As the dollar has weekend over the decades the cost of oil has risen.

Posted by JeffMinneapolis | Report as abusive

So when will the government start to subsidize solar and wind the way they have oil producing countries and companies? And Canada is not the answer for the US’s oil addiction. Not only are canadians just as addicted to black gold but they are selling to everyone all over the world. There is also the small fact that more energy is used getting oil out of the tar sands then the energy the oil holds. Also it takes 3 to 4 barrels of fresh water to “clean” 1 barrel of oil from the tar sands and that water is not recoverable. What with the fresh water worries in the world right now that’s criminal. Renewable energy such as solar and wind is the only way to go. If we all drove electric vehicles (which should also be subsidized the way we did hummer) we could stop the most of the pollution.

Posted by shameOnCorps | Report as abusive

Hell No. NO More Drilling!! NO Drill!

We should Focus on 100% Biodiesel (Not Ethanol). Biodiesel is Clean, and diesel engines are quiet compared to earlier models. We are Addicted to OIL like it was Cocaine.

Posted by CleanEnergyNut | Report as abusive

What are we to do, wait until the last drop of land based oil, cold and natural gas is used up then learn the lessons of deep water drilling. I think maybe we need to proceed with caution, but we need to know how to safely extract these recourses before we must in desperation jump in head first and have this kind of thing happen. We must learn from this experience and find ways of making the practice safer so that when we really must have this oil and gas we will be able to use it safely. Personally I prefer oil to nuclear power anyday of the week. We can clean up oil spills they do a lot of damage and cost a lot to fix, but we can do it. Nuclear is a much different story and we have more of it everyday. Lets learn what we need to learn before we don’t have time to.

Posted by JVTK | Report as abusive

Why does Obama want to drill oil STILL? The Earth really wasn’t made for corporations to usurp. It is here to give life to the living. Corporations are NOT living, are making Hell out of our Heaven and the wealthy generated is NOT shared with the living. Unliving beasts such as corporations, MUST GO. they care nothing for the Earth, nothing but their stinking bottom lines. Their bottom lines are far too fat and the clocks tick tick ticks toward their eventual demise. Time to disappear Corps; get the HELL out of Heaven!!!

Posted by MysTerri | Report as abusive

Obama don’t get in the way of getting rid of Corps; you may get lumped in with them. Man WHERE are your MORALS? Do you think God doesn’t know that you are responsible for allowing this mess? You could have prevented this. That is what the EPA is for. That’s what you are PAID to do, FOLLOW the EPA guidelines. YOU DIDN’T. And you plan on allowing it to happen again and again and again. Careful pops; you can be unelected too. Can anyone imagine the East Coast covered in OIL too? If not Obama will SHOW you.

Posted by MysTerri | Report as abusive

Actually the fact that Obama allowed the lax standards in the Gulf of Mexico and because he has ratcheted up his greedy plans for the east coast WITH LAX STANDARDS still in place, I believe this may be grounds for impeachment. He is willfully destroying our ability to live. THAT IS IMPEACHABLE.

Posted by MysTerri | Report as abusive

This is only one out of hundreds of oil rigs around the country. Lets get real. I don’t support Obama in many things, but I do not see anything wrong with increasing the oil rigs if it decreases out independence on foreign oil. Lets not get into a situation like we did with President Carter who virtually eliminated Nuclear power in this country. Don’t reduce oil drilling just because of one accident

Posted by D-Man | Report as abusive

Drill we must. Accidents happen. Even the infamous 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill had no long term impact on the environment. And even this BP spill is insignificant in the whole scheme of things. The coal mining accident didn’t result in a call for a halt to coal mining.

Oil is as much a part of nature as water and the real world is not a Disneyland. The US needs continued oil production for the good of everyone while at the same time we should pursue other sources of energy as it becomes economical.

Many seem to imply the US uses more than its share of the earth’s resources which is simply wrong. The US requires the bulk of the oil resources because the US is the most productive and efficient nation on earth. Other countries do not contribute as much to the overall good as we do and do not require the same resources as we do. When these countries become more productive more resources flow their way as we see is happening in China.

It is a worldwide market oil market that the US needs to manage. The resources of the Middle East if push comes to shove are our resources as much as the ones offshore our shores. It is up to us to properly manage these resources and step in and take over if necessary for the good of the earth.

Posted by calandman | Report as abusive

The question should not be whether to drill or not but why haven’t the alternatives to oil been made available?

Oil is meant to be inside the Earth just as our blood is supposed to be inside us.

We know there are FREE energy technologies that have been suppressed by companies like BP to protect their profits.

After an ecological disaster like this, it’s time to insist that BP and all the other oil companies desist from raping our home and instead furnish us with the free alternatives.

Posted by GforGoddessG | Report as abusive

If the world is going to run out of oil one day, shouldn’t we save our resources and buy as much oil as possible now?

Posted by R_Davis_Ison_IV | Report as abusive

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see