If you know new information is coming about a dangerous practice, you should wait to get that information before deciding what to do, right? This is exactly what today's Washington Post editorial calls for, and they're right.
UPDATE, Friday, July 26. 10:40 AM: On Thursday evening, officials stated that the gas was cut off on the burning Hercules 265 drilling rig. The only remaining fire is a small flame fueled by residual gas at the top of the well. However, these recent leaks and explosions should remind us that offshore drilling is"inherently risky," and that blowouts "aren't that infrequent." Those quotes are from Michael Bromwich, the former chief of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and its predecessor agency, the Bureau of Ocean Energy, Management Regulation and Enforcement.
"These all should be learning exercises," Bromwich went on to say. "What went wrong here? Were there errors in human judgment? What remedial or corrective actions should be taken by the company, and what can the industry and what can the regulators learn?"
To us, the lessons are clear -- shift away from dirty and dangerous fossil fuels, and towards clean, safe and forever renewable sources of energy like offshore wind. If we want to prevent these disasters in the future, we must reject offshore drilling outright. We urge you to sign our petition telling President Obama to reject seismic airgun testing and future offshore drilling in the Atlantic Ocean.
In a move to promote the development of offshore wind, the Scottish government has introduced new wind subsidies. Offshore wind is a renewable energy source which will help us transition from polluting fossil fuels to a clean and renewable energy future. For years, Oceana has been working to promote the responsible development of offshore wind energy in the U.S. because we believe that this untapped resource can help mitigate the effects of global climate change and ocean acidification while at the same time boosting our economy with good-paying American jobs.
Yesterday, Michael LeVine, Pacific Senior Council, Oceana, testified on the “Offshore Energy and Jobs Act” (H.R. 2231) in front of the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources of the Committee on Natural Resources. H.R. 2231 would force the Secretary of the Interior to offer lease sales in vast areas of U.S. ocean waters, including the U.S. Arctic Ocean, where Shell’s 2012 exploration attempt resulted in a season of mishaps and near-disasters.