As oil from a mile-deep wellhead in the Gulf of Mexico continues to gush, BP is set to break records by drilling two miles below the sea's surface off the coast of Alaska in pursuit of what they believe is a 100 million barrel reservoir of oil.
"You have a company in the Gulf that was pushing the envelope in technology which played a role in this disaster," says Ian Urbina, national correspondent for The New York Times. "In the Arctic, the one project that is being allowed to go forward is by BP, and once again they are pushing the envelope."
Urbina looks at the way that the project got reviewed and evaluated. He says that one thing we learned in the Gulf is that "we need to take a closer look at the lax oversight and the closeness between the regulators and industry." And this new project is no different. "In the arctic, for some reason the environmental review was given to a pro-development unit, which allowed BP to write it's own environmental review," Urbina says.
BP still has to get final approval from the federal government before drilling begins and the question remains as to whether the project will be reassessed following the blowout in the Gulf.