In a cruel twist of irony to an already cruel story, the Obama Administration’s offshore oil drilling six-month moratorium could end up hurting the very people and towns that it’s trying to save. There is a growing campaign underway, led by the political leaders of the Gulf Coast, to push through new permits for shallow-water drilling off of the same beaches of Alabama, Louisiana and Florida that are now seeing tar balls from the Deepwater Horizon spill wash ashore. The argument is that the economic damage from a drilling moratorium might be even worse than the loss of tourism dollars that the area is sure to see as the cleanup efforts from the Gulf oil spill continue. Meanwhile the nascent cleanup continues and looks to places like the Persian Gulf and Prince William Sound in Alaska for lessons on how to best manage the spill and what kind of long-term ecological damage can be expected from massive oil spills. Is the Gulf of Mexico destined to turn into a gigantic dead zone?
Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Arizona’s 7th District; Chairman of the National Parks, Forests & Public Lands Subcommittee of the House Committee on Natural Resources
Doug Inkley, certified wildlife biologist the National Wildlife Federation's Senior Scientist.
Rick Steiner, Professor and Marine Conservation Specialist (he is currently in the Gulf of Mexico)