The Gulf Oil Spill and the Future of Offshore Energy

We need the energy, but is the risk to the environment too great?


As the engineers for BP try to drop a cement cap on the gushing oil well in the Gulf of Mexico, will they also be sealing the future of offshore oil and gas drilling? The disaster struck just as a fragile political consensus to seek more offshore energy was forming. We won’t know for a while how bad the damage will be. Catastrophe is still a possibility, but likely overstated. What might not be overstated is how much oil is in the deep Gulf. That’s one big well­—one of many promising deep-water finds—and no one disputes we need the energy. But is the risk to the environment too great? Has the political consensus collapsed for good? Is there a way to revive it? And is there a way to drill safely in deep water? Give me your thoughts on the future of offshore energy at

  • Check out our editorial cartoons on the Gulf oil spill.
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