Louisiana oil rig fire could play role in Virginia drilling debate
There's no word yet on the cause of Wednesday's explosion on an oil rig off the coast of Louisiana, where 11 workers are missing.
But the disaster is already affecting the politics of off-shore oil drilling elsewhere, including Virginia.
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), who has been a leading opponent of coastal drilling, is calling for an investigation into what caused the Louisiana fire.
"The tragedy off the coast of Louisiana shows we need to be asking a lot more tough questions of big oil," Nelson said today, according to the Associated Press. "I think we need to look back over 10 years or so to see if the record denies the industry's claims about safety and technology."
Here in Virginia, where Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) has been pushing for the Commonwealth to be the first state on the eastern seaboard to allow drilling, the explosion has sparked a vigorous debate on the blogosphere.
On the left, several bloggers have suggested the Louisiana case is a cautionary tale that should give Virginians pause before proceeding with drilling. ("Coming to VA soon..." was how popular blogger Ben Tribbett posted the item, with a link to a picture of the fiery platform.)
Blogs on the rights have meanwhile accused opponents of exploiting what looks to be a tragedy in Louisiana to push their opposition to driling. J.R. Hoeft over at Bearing Drift accused Tribbett and others of trying to "score political points" off the Louisiana explosion.
April 23, 2010; 12:19 PM ET
Categories: Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman | Tags: Bill Nelson, Drilling rig, Louisiana, Oil well, Virginia
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