On June 15th, as BP’s catastrophic spill in the Gulf neared its third month, President Obama addressed the nation from the Oval Office. His administration, he assured the American people, would not let such a disaster happen again. He had put an indefinite hold on plans to open up new coastal areas, including Florida and Virginia, to offshore exploration. And he had frozen all new permits to drill in deep waters for six months, to give a blue-ribbon commission time to study the disaster. “We need better regulations, better safety standards and better enforcement,” the president insisted.
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