Toomey: keep drilling

Republican Senate candidate Pat Toomey says it would be a mistake to scale back domestic and off-shore oil drilling in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Toomey says the BP spill is a “huge disaster,” and the company needs to be held accountable – but he says the United States needs to ramp up, not scale back, domestic oil exploration over the next few decades.

Toomey says he’s not minimizing the impact – he’s just concerned federal officials will overreact to it. “Something went wrong here, and we’ve got to fix it,” he says. “If there were regulators that tolerated practices that are not safe, then we’ve got to change that. We’ve got to absolutely make sure this never happens again, but at this point I think it’s a little premature to say exactly how we do that, because I’m not sure it’s entirely clear exactly what went wrong. So we’ve got to get to the bottom of that first.” To that end, the Republican says President Obama’s offshore drilling moratorium might have gone too far.

Toomey’s opponent, Democrat Joe Sestak, says he’s against expanding offshore drilling’s footprint.

Sestak says he supports Obama’s moratorium, and wants to see regulations tightened before offshore oil exploration is allowed to resume. . “Congressman Toomey is saying there’s no need for accountability,” says Sestak. “Just drill. That’s wrong.”

About pubradiopolitics
Scott covers state government and politics for Pennsylvania's public radio stations, including WITF in Harrisburg, WHYY in Philadelphia and WDUQ in Pittsburgh.

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