Wednesday, October 13, 2010

"We Are Open For Business"

Well, that was fun while it lasted:
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration lifted its moratorium on deepwater drilling for oil and gas on Tuesday, after imposing new rules intended to prevent another disaster like the Gulf of Mexico rig explosion that led to the largest offshore oil spill in American history.

“We have made and continue to make significant progress in reducing the risks associated with deepwater drilling,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in announcing the step. Therefore, he said, “I have decided that it is now appropriate to lift the suspension on deepwater drilling for those operators that are able to clear the higher bar that we have set.”

Though the administration’s decision takes effect immediately, it may be weeks or months before drilling operations resume, because companies will first have to submit new permit applications showing they have complied with the tougher rules, and have their rigs inspected. Officials said that they expect at least some of the idle drilling rigs in the gulf to be at work again by the end of the year.

“We are open for business,” Mr. Salazar said.

President Obama’s administration imposed the moratorium after the blowout of a BP well in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20. The accident killed 11 men and led to the release of almost 5 million barrels of oil into the gulf before the leak was stopped.

The moratorium was due to run through Nov. 30, but the White House has come under intense pressure from the oil and gas industry and from elected officials and businesses in the gulf region to lift the ban early, because of the economic impact of about 30 drilling rigs that had been at work in the region.
I figured that not having the slightest clue about how to stop 5 million barrels of oil from exploding into our seas might make us rethink how we do this stuff.

Guess not!

1 comment:

  1. anyone know what changes they made to the regulations?
    How about over/under on the chances that the agency is still completely bribe-able?