As usual, government officials simply don't want to admit the bureaucracy sometimes doesn't do its job. That was reflected in President Barack Obama's recent televised speech about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Obama wants a six-month moratorium on permits for new deep-water oil and gas drilling platforms. That will give him and other officials time to consult with experts on new rules intended to avoid a disaster similar to that still occurring at the leaking British Petroleum well in the Gulf, he explained.
While the courts have disagreed with Obama's blanket approach of shutting down all the oil rigs for a period of time, we credit Obama for insisting on shakeups at federal agencies that were supposed to have ensured BP and other companies have anti-leak safeguards in place. But as officials look for new protective measures they should not avoid the question of precisely what existing ones were not used properly.
Some believe that if currently required safety precautions at the BP well had been followed, the leak would not have occurred. Instead of looking for new laws to enact, Obama and Congress should be asking more questions about why existing rules were broken.