The Department of Interior yesterday announced the lifting of the deep-water drilling moratorium issued in May, after the explosion of a BP well that turned into an environmental disaster of epic proportions. The lift means work for thousands who were laid off due to the moratorium, but environmentalists worry that the decision doesn’t bode well for gulf wildlife, which have already seen severe impacts as a result of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

Greenpeace USA’s Executive Director Phil Radford issued a statement regarding the end of the moratorium from aboard the organization’s ship, The Arctic Sunrise. Radford, along with several scientists, are currently on a three-month research expedition to investigate the environmental impacts of the gulf oil spill.

From his statement:

This is pure politics of the most cynical kind. It is all about the election season, not safety and environmental concerns. The White House wants us to believe that they have solved all the dangers of offshore drilling and we can return to business as usual. It is a false promise, if not a big lie.

Scientists haven’t even assessed the full ecological impact of the BP disaster and yet the government is in a rush to allow oil companies to get back to drilling. It is irresponsible to say the least, reckless at worst.

Oil is still washing up on the Gulf coast and we are just beginning to understand the full impacts of the oil disaster. However, the government wants us to believe that a few technical and bureaucratic fixes add up to what they call a “gold standard” for dangerous offshore drilling.

Only the oil industry wants this disaster to “go away” more than the White House, which recklessly opened new areas to offshore drilling some three weeks before the BP blowout occurred on April 20, 2010. We again see how much power the oil industry wields over our government.

The American Petroleum Institute will be breathing a sigh of relief, while most people are scratching their heads and wondering what on Earth the Obama team is thinking.

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