On April 20, 2010, an explosion occurred on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico that set off a chain of events leading to one of the worst environmental disasters – if not the worst – our country has ever faced. The explosion caused three leaks in an underwater oil well, spilling tens of thousands of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico on a daily basis. In fact, at its worst, the government estimates that the well was leaking between 12,000 and 19,000 barrels of oil each day before BP’s latest effort to contain it.
Since the explosion first occurred, many different efforts to slow the leak have been attempted. Some worked, some failed. However, the most recent attempt by BP seems to have significantly slowed the leak, capturing approximately 15,000 barrels per day. This is a positive sign, but we still have miles to go before this devastating disaster is truly behind us. Congress has begun holding hearings to look in to the matter and a full investigation has begun on many different levels and at many different agencies. I strongly believe that those who were negligent should be held accountable for their actions.
However, rather than focus on stopping the spill and preventing any further damage to the environment and industry of our gulf states, President Obama has instead used this national tragedy to push for the crowning jewel of his liberal agenda: cap-and-tax. Waiting more than fifty days to contact BP, the president has been slow in responding to this disaster and has demonstrated a lack of leadership and organization in dealing with this crisis.
The American people have spoken loudly and clearly: they do not want a national energy tax that will disproportionately punish those who live and work in rural America. Cap-and-tax will result in lost jobs, higher energy costs and higher food prices, and it does nothing to address the shortcomings of this administration’s response to this oil spill.