This oil spill is such a fuck up. As something of an oil and gas industry 'insider' (I'm not really, but kind of) this whole thing seems to have been mismanaged by absolutely everyone who has had a hand in it, even (sad to have to point it out) Barack. Good luck 'ending US reliance on foreign oil' if you shut the Gulf of Mexico down dude. Not that the GoM was ever going to keep the US market happy mind you, but i cant see the sense (other than the political sense) in getting all twitchy sphincter about new developments in the gulf because of a spill. Thats not to say that something shouldnt be done, but there are loads of rigs operating already (not just in the GoM), and unless you want to shut them down too, a considered attack on safety and maintenance policy is probably better than knee jerk threats and sabre rattling.
Sadly, the world still needs the oil and gas, and they need it pulled out of the ground by a bunch of cowboys because that is mostly who runs the industry (except for the supermajors, of course). It's a shitty industry, but that's what has developed over the years, and the US govt (though maybe not the current US govt) needs to take some responsibility for that.
As oil companies go, 'British Petroleum' (in Obama speak) are actually really risk averse - like most of the supermajors. You should see their technical specifications compared to some of the other smaller operators we deal with (ever seen technical specs from a small SEAsian joint venture looking to exploit a reserve in the Gulf of Thailand, or offshore Indonesia?... pretty light on detail).
Tony Hayward is a massive knob, and it really is an awful thing that has happened - someone will surely be to blame when the slick has cleared - but right now would be a good time to keep your head down and fix the problem while keeping one eye on other long term options rather than getting all Johnny Two-Guns and promising to 'kick some ass'. Only thing I can't work out is whether this whole thing strengthens or weakens the argument for nuclear. I hope it's the former.