Gulf oil spill: Markey mocks Palin’s ‘drill baby drill’ mantra

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In his opening statement for the House Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation, which is looking into the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, U.S. Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), took a swipe at the ‘Drill Baby Drill’ mantra offered by Sarah Palin and others in the Republican party during the presidential election:

‘I think a root cause for this accident is the ‘drill, baby, drill’ boosterism. There was oil industry boosterism that minimized potential hazards. There was a boosterism on the part of the previous administration that got rid of protection that they viewed as obstacles to increased drilling. Now, we see the results. Boosterism led to complacency, and complacency led to disaster.And this is a disaster. But it was not inevitable.’


Other members of Congress have noted, however, that as much as a third of domestic petroleum production comes from the Gulf of Mexico. U.S. Rep. John Sullivan, (R-Oklahoma) spoke next:

‘During this hearing, and the continuing investigation, it is important that we do not lose sight of the fact that 30 percent of the total U.S. production of crude oil comes from offshore. While some may want to stop drilling offshore altogether, this would be a terrible mistake. If we were to ban or restrict offshore drilling, we would simply increase our national dependence on foreign oil, which makes our nation less secure in the short term and long term, and increases the cost of energy.’

Markey also had harsh words for one of the methods BP is contemplating to stop up the wellhead that is gushing 5,000 barrels of oil a day:

‘And after the failure of the containment dome, we are now hearing of plans to stuff the blowout preventer full of a mixture of golf balls, old tires, and other junk. When we heard the best minds were on the case, we expected MIT and not the PGA. We already have one hole in the ground, and now their solution is to shoot a hole in one.’

-- Geoff Mohan

Photo: U.S. Rep. Edward J. Markey during a session on oversight of the drug industry. Credit: Mario Tama / Getty Images