Recent news from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is encouraging and British Petroleum CEO Tony Hayward has been replaced. A few government officials in charge of oil and gas well drilling programs also have been given the boot. But many residents of the Gulf Coast still haven't gotten their lives back, as a result of the oil spill from a BP drilling rig.
Obviously, providing assistance to those affected adversely by the spill needs to be a priority. But that cannot be the sole focus of government and energy companies.
Emphasis has been placed on stopping the oil leak, cleaning up the environment and at least partially reimbursing those affected by the disaster. What about the future?
No one has yet explained precisely what went wrong at the BP rig, resulting in an explosion that killed 11 workers. Oil began spewing into the Gulf of Mexico. Reports indicate BP was lax in its safety practices. By extension, federal regulators did not do their jobs in ensuring the company was taking safety precautions.
Clearly, better government oversight over drilling - especially the high-risk type involving undersea wells - is necessary. Americans simply cannot afford to shut down the offshore drilling industry.
As soon as possible, then, members of Congress should insist on a detailed plan from President Barack Obama's administration to avoid such disasters in the future.