Over the last few weeks, I've read in multiple news sources that environmentalists and environmental regulation bear some blame in the disaster currently unfolding in the Gulf. This thesis ignores a few facts worth mentioning.

Environmentalists are not responsible for the following: The lack of a functioning battery in the blowout preventer's dead man's switch, the missing hydraulic ram, or the fact that the blowout preventer was never designed to cut the size pipe that was in at the time of the explosion.

Environmentalists are also not responsible for BP's rushing Transocean to cap the well, or for ignoring the basic safety precautions that could have prevented 11 deaths. Nor are environmentalists responsible for paying lobbyists to help neuter governmental regulations and inspection regimens that could have prevented the spill.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's proposed dredging operation should be scrutinized. Dredging will release any contaminants built up in the delta silt over the decades, creating an even bigger poison pill for that fragile ecosystem.

The Gulf spill almost perfectly mirrors a Pemex spill in 1979. The big difference is that spill was in 160 feet of water, not 5,000. It took 287 days to drill a relief well and cap the spill. No deepwater, no environmentalists, just bad business.

Bryan Willette

Merion