Obama told reporters at his news conference that he won't be stampeded. "We are encouraging offshore exploration and production," he said. "We're just doing it responsibly. I don't think anybody has forgotten that we're only a few months removed from the worst oil spill in our history. So what we've done is to put in place common-sense standards like proving that companies can actually contain an underwater spill."
If this re-opens a national debate on how we can reduce reliance on fossil fuels, that will be all to the good.