The rollback in offshore drilling rules will save an estimated $824 million for the oil industry over the next decade. Expect the oil industry to donate a record amount to both the President’s re-election and the Republican Party.
By James DiGeorgia
After the nightmarish Deepwater Horizon oil spill, President Obama imposed several major regulations meant to safeguard offshore drilling rigs so nothing like the 2010 spill that flooded 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, ever happens again. The spill crippled and impacted the fishing, tourist industry in four states.
President Trump on Thursday proved he has one priority, raising huge donations from corporate America for his 2020 re-election including from the oil industry, even if it means polluting the country. The Trump administration has ended most if not all of the safety measures put in place after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Trump’s Interior Department released a newly revised Well Control Rule as part of President Donald Trump’s effort to increase offshore drilling to establish U.S. “energy dominance.” Offshore oil companies now only are required to safety test devices meant to stop leaks for only 5 minutes every 21 days, a dramatic reduction of the tests to guard against oil future spills. The plan kills much of the mandatory reporting of some of those tests to the Interior Department that critics are warning will mean there won’t be government enforcement of inspections.
Interior Secretary David Bernhard said in a statement Thursday …
“Today’s final rule puts safety first, both public and environmental safety, in a common sense way. Incorporating the best available science, best practices and technological innovations of the past decade, the rule eliminates unnecessary regulatory burdens while maintaining safety and environmental protection offshore.”
The sharply reduced requirements will likely save the oil industry more than $820 million over the next ten years and will go into effect 60 days after they are published in the Federal Register, which should happen next week, according to The New York Times.
Several environmental groups reacted immediately waring the loosening of the regulations for inspection will open the door to a new Deepwater Horizon sized disaster in the future.
Bob Deans, the director of strategic engagement at the Natural Resources Defense Council, released a statement saying…
“The good control rule was one of the most important actions we took, as a nation, in response to the BP-style disaster at sea.”
“If the Trump administration’s final rule weakens these protections, as its proposed changes did, it will put our workers, waters, and wildlife at needless risk. That’s irresponsible, reckless and wrong.”
The British Petroleum (BP) Deep Horizon oil spill became by far the worst oil drilling disaster in U.S. history after an explosion that killed 11 oil rig workers in April 2010. The spill was so horrific it took five months to cap before it was finally sealed off.
According to official government records, more than 210 million gallons of oil flowed into the Gulf of Mexico as a result of the disaster, causing billions of dollars in environmental damages. Scientists are still studying the long-term effects on marine mammals and sea turtles as well as a dramatic loss of plant and animal life,
Rolling back the safety regulations will mean that oil companies will no longer be required to hire third-party safety inspectors to test the equipment meant to prevent leaks, known as blowout preventer and that was the device failed during the BP Deep Horizon spill.