May 4th, 2010
10:53 AM ET

Will oil spill change U.S. energy policy?

Bryan Walsh

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/US/05/01/oil.spill.geography/smlvid.wetland.afp.gi.jpg caption="Even as the massive response continues, the political battle over the spill is just heating up." width=300 height=169]

It's been a long time since we've heard the old saying that politics stops at the water's edge. When it comes to the Deepwater Horizon oil-rig wreck in the Gulf of Mexico — still spewing thousands of barrels of petroleum into the open ocean, with no clear end in sight — it hasn't taken long for politics to wade offshore.

With the growing sheen of oil holding off the Gulf Coast, thanks to shifting and difficult weather, more than 70 environmental groups on Monday called on the Senate to keep any expansion of offshore oil and gas drilling out of upcoming climate and energy legislation.(See pictures of the Gulf oil spill.)

In California, Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that the accident had caused him to drop his support for new offshore drilling in his state. "You turn on the television and see this enormous disaster," he told reporters. "You say to yourself, 'Why would we want to take on that kind of risk?' "

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Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Karie

    There was a contingency but it failed. When are people going to wake up and see that we need an alternative energy source...like NOW!

    May 4, 2010 at 1:59 pm |
  2. Cindy Perez

    WoW!!! This oil spill has just completely changed everything. When I heard the news about this my heart sank. All those beautiful animals and the entire wildlife in the corner of death. This is unbelievable. I wish I can just do something to help. Please inform me if anything I will be available. Thank you

    May 4, 2010 at 12:52 pm |
  3. William of Iowa

    Disastrous oil spills have occured before, the difference now is the magnitude. As before, the arguments against pursuing fossil fuel energy without regard to the natural world will be enhanced but will not change overall energy policy in the short term – our demands as a society are to great, our pockets too shallow. But if the remarks made by politicians are sincere, then it is possible energy policy could be redirected and in the long term be accepted and sustained. I won't hold my breath – well, maybe I might have to if companies like BP continue to marginalize risk for profit.

    May 4, 2010 at 11:35 am |
  4. Kirsten Verdi, San Antonio, TX

    It all wouldn't have been so bad had BP a plan how to handle malfunctions of this magnitude. You can't build something like that and not have a contingency plan in place for the "What if !"
    That's what I don't understand.

    May 4, 2010 at 11:00 am |