This question is going to take some time to answer because it is complicated and we have been directly affected by the oil spill. I apologize for getting on a soap box and preaching, but please bare with me and please make any additional comments that you desire to make.
Cristina and I moved to Pensacola in August 2008 so that, in our "Golden Years" (retirement), we could enjoy the climate as well as the beautiful and famous white sand beaches. In order to move here we sold almost everything we had, and then we spent all the money we had on a house, remodeling the bathroom, kitchen, and the floors, and buying new furniture. So with the exception of our car and motorcycle, everything we had is invested in our home near the beaches which we can no longer use.
The following paragraph is a compliation of news items that I have heard, and or read, and to the best of my knowledge the information is accurate.
In April 2009, President Obama's Department of the Interior, under Secretary Ken Salazar, granted a drilling permit to British Petroleum (BP), and at the same time the Department waived the enviormental impact study, because BP stated that a leak of more that several hundred barrels was very unlikely. This permit was for an exploratory well to be drilled by the Deep Water Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico about 50 miles (80 km) off the Louisana coast at a depth of about 5,000 feet (1524 meters) below the surface. During the drilling operation the U.S. Government inspectors failed to make all the required inspections, and Deep Water Horizon personnel, and BP personnel had several disagreements on the safety of the operation, including the condition of the blowout preventer that eventually failed and caused the explosion, and collapse of the rig. So there is plenty of blame to go around, our Federal Government, BP, and Deep Water Horizon, and how much fault for each will be determined in court sometime in the future.
Most of the people in this area, including Cristina and myself, are absolutely sick about what is happening to our beaches, our wildlife, our economy, our way of life and our future because the impacts of this disaster will be felt for years if not generations to come. I went to the beach this morning and there were tarballs all along the beach, and a brown sludge at the high tide mark, in addition there was an almost overpowering stench of oil and death. In Louisana there are eleven families who lost men in the explosion, hundreds of birds, fish, and turtles being killed each day, some dead dolphins have been found, and one dead manatee (cause of death uknown), only God knows when and where it will all end.
All of the people that I have talked to are very angry at: (1) The Obama Administration for issuing a permit without the proper environmental impact study, not stopping the drilling when the required inspections were not made, and the slow manner in which the Federal response was ramped up; (2) BP for disregarding safety regulations, which directly led to the disaster, and not having adequate equipment and expertise to properly handle the blowout, moving to slowly on the cleanup and payments to people who have lost their livelyhood; (3) Deep Water Horizon for caving in to BP demands that safety requlations could be ignored without danger to the drilling rig. All of the players in this ecological apocalypse from the President down have at one time or another appeared to have a cavalier attitude, and this infuriates the people of the Gulf.
We do not have to stop all off shore drilling, but we have to demand that our governments insure that all drilling is accomplished in a safe manner, and that there are no short cuts when it somes to safety, and protecting the enviroment. We in the United States can not take another hit like this one, and hope that the world never sees another.
I hope and pray that Petrobras is paying attention.