Despite this awful leak, offshore drilling is statistically extremely safe. The Energy Information Administration maintains that offshore drilling has a stellar safety record, spilling only a fraction of one percent of all extracted oil since 1975.
A joint study by NASA and the Smithsonian Institution several years ago found that offshore drilling is a smaller source of oceanic oil contamination than tanker accidents or nature herself.
President Obama should have opened more areas to drilling than he did. Because he bowed to environmentalists in severely limiting where he would allow new drilling, he might again in the face of renewed demands that the oil stay underground forever. He shouldn’t.