This is really not the stance I would expect the federal official who oversees the National Marine Fisheries Service’s Office of Protected Resources — the office that enforces the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act — to take on the BP blowout’s effect on endangered wildlife:
“Spills of this magnitude are really rare events, like airplane crashes are really rare. But people still keep getting on planes every day,” Jim Lecky told our Rachel Slajda today. If they stopped a project because of any small chance of disaster, Lecky said, “then we really wouldn’t do much.”
Recall that NMFS woefully underestimated the impact of a major spill when it greenlighted the 2007 round of leases in the deep waters of the Gulf, including what became the BP well. It will be revisiting that opinion in light of current events.
David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.