Senator says oil companies should dig pre-emptive relief wells at all new drilling sites

A U.S. Senator has introduced a bill that would require oil companies to dig emergency relief wells at all new drilling sites off the U.S. coast.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., said Tuesday that the rig explosion that unleashed millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico proves that pre-emptive drilling is needed.

The measure was introduced days after The Associated Press reported that BP and the government rushed through environmental reviews, permits and other plans before starting to dig a pair of relief wells 12 days after the April 20 explosion.

Lautenberg says that the measure "takes a common-sense step to contain damages that come with the inherently dangerous drilling business." Critics counter that drilling pre-emptive wells could increase the risks of a blowout.