But, even a low probability for a disaster means that when that disaster happens, it is not a simple one. The result: a great deal of opposition to building nuclear power plants.
The catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Louisiana, is a similar story then for offshore oil drilling. When environmentalists worried about the potential downsides, well, even President Obama minimized those concerns; he said,
today we’re announcing the expansion of offshore oil and gas exploration, but in ways that balance the need to harness domestic energy resources and the need to protect America’s natural resources. Under the leadership of Secretary Salazar, we’ll employ new technologies that reduce the impact of oil exploration. We’ll protect areas that are vital to tourism, the environment, and our national security. And we’ll be guided not by political ideology, but by scientific evidence.
That's why my administration will consider potential areas for development in the mid and south Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, while studying and protecting sensitive areas in the Arctic. That’s why we’ll continue to support development of leased areas off the North Slope of Alaska, while protecting Alaska’s Bristol Bay.
chastised the president for not expanding the idea:
House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) dismissed the president's plan as not going far enough in opening up U.S. waters for exploration.
The irony of it all: Candidate Obama made it very clear that offshore drilling would not deliver any benefit. In the video below, Candidate Obama actually says "let me make it clear ...."
I suppose after getting elected, President Obama saw things differently, as politicians often do after winning the election!