Commentary: Our oil addiction guarantees disasters

In all the finger-pointing over the cataclysmic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, there's blame aplenty to go around.

Petroleum giant BP, rig owner Transocean and contractor Halliburton all fell down on the job before the Deepwater Horizon exploded April 20, killing 11 workers.

Some responsibility also lands at the doorstep of the federal Minerals Management Service, which has demonstrated beyond doubt it is unable to do its dual duty — collect royalties from the oil industry and regulate it at the same time.

But all of us need to look in the mirror as well. It's our insatiable thirst for cheap gas that is driving oil exploration into areas that are more and more ecologically sensitive.

In the shorter term, the courts will decide how much in damages each of the oil companies involved should pay for the colossal economic and environmental losses sure to come from what looks like the worst oil spill in U.S history.

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