Unbelievably, the MMS is still issuing shallow water drilling permits.
Let’s set aside the junk shot and top hat distractions and look at the record. The last big underwater oil spills, Ixtoc I and Montara, were controlled by relief wells. Montara, the most recent, took ten weeks to control, and there were five misses before the final relief well hit.
There’s no reason to think that we’re going to have anything but a bunch of oily beaches, dead sea life, and fucked up attempts to stop the leak for the next few weeks. Recent revelations about BP’s hundreds of violations have completely undermined confidence in the MMS. I don’t know what the hell the Obama Administration is thinking here, but issuing more permits in this environment is political suicide.