Hope M. Babcock is a Professor at Georgetown University Law Center, where she teaches environmental law. From 1977–79 she was a Deputy Assistant Secretary—Energy and Minerals in the U.S. Department of the Interior and was involved in regulating offshore oil and gas development on the outer continental shelf. Before that, she was a nuclear licensing lawyer in private practice from 1970–77. This article was first presented at a symposium on the impact of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig accident on offshore oil and gas development sponsored by the William and Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review. I owe a debt of gratitude to my research assistant, Felicia Barnes, for her investigative skills.