In a new twist to the oil rig disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, an environmental group has said that British Petroleum was exempted by US regulators from a normally required impact study for its exploration project. The Centre for Biological Diversity said the government service involved gave BP a “categorical exclusion” from full analysis.
Charlie Crist, the governor of Florida, one of the states on the Gulf, is no longer such an off-shore drilling fan: “We need oil but we don’t need it from the Gulf of Mexico. It just wouldn’t be the right thing to do. Not now; no way!”
A concrete and steel box trap has been built, the size of a four-story building. This will be lowered 1,500 meters to the sea bed perhaps by this weekend. The plan is to capture some of the around 800,000 litres per day of escaping oil.
The US Interior Department approved the exploration project one year ago. The environmentalist whistle-blowers said the Obama administration rubber-stamps hundreds of gulf drilling plans every year.