A lot of people are not pleased with President Obama after he approved a plan for BP to drill in the Gulf of Mexico, the first of its kind since last year's Deepwater Horizon explosion. Among the upset factions is the top Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, Ed Markey. "Comprehensive safety legislation hasn't passed Congress, and BP hasn't paid the fines they owe for their spill, yet BP is being given back the keys to drill in the Gulf," he said. The New York Times explains the plan:
It was another sign that oil exploration in the gulf is coming back to normal, although energy companies continue to complain that the permitting process for drilling new wells remains far slower than before the accident.
The federal government’s approval of the BP plan to drill up to four exploratory wells nearly 200 miles from the Louisiana coast was positive news for BP, which has struggled to recover from the April 2010 accident that left 11 workers dead and spilled millions of barrels of oil into the gulf.
About those recovery efforts, a study published last week reported that seafood in the Gulf is still not safe for pregnant women and children to eat. All year, a number of environmentalists have been expressing doubts about the Gulf's still struggling ecosystem, despite BP asserting that the recovery effort was finishing up. "It's not OK down there," marine biologist Samantha Joye said in April. "There are a lot of very strange things going on – the turtles washing up on beaches, dolphins washing up on beaches, the crabs. It is just bizarre."
The Times wasn't able to get BP to comment on the latest decision but pointed to a brief statement from the company that said, "We are working through the regulatory process."