In NYT.com’s Week in Review article “The Spill vs. a Need to Drill,” writer Jad Mouawad considers the idea that, in relation to the 1969 oil spill that ruined 40 miles of Southern California’s picturesque coastline and quelled any hopes of advancing offshore oil drilling elsewhere, history will repeat itself with the recent, “potentially catastrophic” spill in the Gulf, which has already resulted in oil nearing the coast of western Florida; the oil slick also approaches the Louisiana barrier islands, while officials attempt to protect the coasts. Since the Gulf’s fishing and shrimp harvesting businesses, as well as Florida’s tourism industry, will likely be adversely affected, it certainly seems as though history will rehash itself, Mouawad says. Although President Barack Obama had intended to open new offshore drilling sites around U.S. coasts, the White House has prohibited any new offshore developments until the Gulf spill can be settled. Mouawad, though, reasonably posits that oil is just as necessary for our present gas and kerosene demands as coal is for electricity. After the 29 miners died in the Upper Big Branch coal mine in West Virginia, no environmentalists cried out to end coal production; instead, they fought and rallied for stricter safety regulations, which, Mouawad says, the government will eventually do in the offshore oil industry, because, for now, America needs oil, as alternative sources will take decades to obtain.
As difficult as it might seem, this Week in Review article is as unbiased and objective as any news story. Mouawad is not some lobbyist on either the far left or far right side of the political spectrum; he is a journalist with reasonable foresight in an energy-devouring world. In other words, he is not defending a political agenda but simply stating what will most likely ensue after the Gulf’s disaster. Additionally, the Week in Review section is both ingenious and effective, since it sums up the ongoing influx of massive amounts of news stories in a tactful, concise manner. Readers can receive intelligent social critiques while also getting relevant news coverage. Beautiful.