Responsibility for this disaster lies in part squarely with the Obama administration, which granted an environmental waiver to B.P. to drill the Deepwater Horizon. Elizabeth Kolbert in the New Yorker:
The President does, in fact, share in the blame. Obama inherited an Interior Department that he knew to be plagued by corruption, but he allowed the department’s particularly disreputable Minerals Management Service to party on. Last spring, in keeping with its usual custom, the M.M.S. granted BP all sorts of exemptions from environmental regulations. Ironically, one of these exemptions allowed the company to drill the Deepwater Horizon well without adhering to the standards set by NEPA. For reasons that are hard to explain, the Administration still can’t, or won’t, say exactly how much oil is leaking.
Can’t, or won’t, say how much oil is leaking. Can’t, or won’t, stop B.P. from further polluting the Gulf by using a poisonous chemical dispersant — banned in Britain — that makes damage look less by forcing the oil under water, but adds to the overall pollution of the ocean. Can’t, or won’t, enforce a stated moratorium on new offshore permits (hilariously, the Interior Department claims the problem is that Obama and Salazar forgot to put the moratorium in writing).
The fact that B.P. employees gave more money to Obama than any other candidate in their history is no doubt coincidental.