June 7, 2010 11:29 AM

Commentary: MMS still hasn't gotten the Gulf spill's message

Lest there be any remaining doubt, the ever-growing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is a seminal catastrophe. It is transforming the way Americans view offshore oil exploration, particularly drilling for oil at depths thousands of feet below the sea. Unfortunately, this sea change hasn't yet extended to the U.S. Department of Interior and its Minerals Management Service. As Shashank Bengali of McClatchy's Washington Bureau reported last Thursday, the MMS this week was prepared to let oil firms go ahead with 31 deep-water drilling plans for the Gulf of Mexico, nearly half of which the agency had approved since the April 20 explosion of BP's Deepwater Horizon oil rig.

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