Last week’s oil rig explosion off the Louisiana coastwhich killed 11 workers and resulted in tens of thousands of gallons of crude oil being dumped into the Gulf of Mexicocould not have come at worse time for President Obama.
Just a month after rolling out a proposal to increase offshore drilling in the Atlantic Ocean and in parts of Alaska, Obama is being asked to scrap his plan in light of the tragedy.
Senators Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) called for the president to rescind his plan on Thursday, and asked the Interior Department to provide Congress with a detailed report concerning the multitude of accidents that have occurred over the last decade, Fox News reports.
"Big Oil has perpetuated a dangerous myth that coastline drilling is a completely safe endeavor, but accidents like this are a sober reminder just how far that is from the truth," the senators wrote in a statement.
Whitehouse Press Secretary Robert Gibbs conceded on Thursday that the administration’s plan concerning offshore drilling could be modified depending on the specifics of last week’s accident, which may cost as much as $1 billion to clean up.
"Today, we don’t know what the cause is," said Gibbs. "If we’re saying that [United States officials] came to the president and said, here’s what caused it, would that possibly change his viewpoint? Well, of course."