Editorial: BP travesty demands radical measures

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If ever an event triggered the need for fundamental change, British Petroleum’s oil rig explosion is it. As the FS goes to press, oil is still gushing into the Gulf and no solution is in sight. It is destroying livelihoods, species and ecosystems — including the fragile marshlands that buffer Gulf states from hurricanes like Katrina.

Unbelievably, the Obama administration hasn’t called a halt to offshore drilling. Shell is scheduled to drill in Alaska’s seas this summer. The Department of Interior continues to give waivers from environmental restrictions to new drilling projects. All this, even though the oil company’s spill has headlined how primitive the technology for preventing spills is, compared to their capacity to dig deeper and deeper.

This is no time to be nice. But that’s exactly what the mainstream environmental groups are doing, by not challenging Obama — because he’s a sacred Democrat. Shame, shame.

The magnitude of the crisis calls for massive, sustained heat on the White House and Congress, along with action to ensure this never happens again. A permanent ban on all offshore drilling is needed now. As is nationalizing the oil industry under workers control.

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