The Obama administration will no longer allow new deepwater drilling projects to go forward without environmental reviews, as happened with BP’s Deepwater Horizon. The administration announced the new policy today (Monday) after the White House Council on Environmental Quality reported that BP got environmental exemptions based on decades-old data. Shallow-water drilling will also be subjected to stricter environmental scrutiny under the new policy.
Tar balls continue to wash up on Gulf shores despite the positive spin the President tried to give by vacationing in the Panhandle over the weekend. The big questions remain, ‘just how much oil remains in the water column below the surface and what will the impact be on coral reefs in the Gulf?’. Donna Green-Townsend talked with Gustav Paulay from the University of Florida about those issues. Professor Paulay is the Curator of Invertebrates at the Florida Museum of Natural History. Paulay says in addition to the Florida Keys, there are several other coral colonies at risk in the Gulf.[audio:http://www.wuft.org/media/audio/GustavPauley.mp3]