Interior Department orders halt to study of agency overseeing offshore oil safety
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Interior Department orders halt to study of agency overseeing offshore oil safety

By BayAreaObserver following x   2017 Dec 23, 1:18am 141 views   3 comments   watch   sfw   quote     share    

The U.S. Department of the Interior has ordered the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine to halt a study aimed at improving the way the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement conducts inspections of offshore oil and gas operations, the National Academies announced Thursday (Dec. 21).

The study, which was requested by BSEE in 2016, is one of a series of studies by the National Academies, the Government Accountability Office, and a special presidential commission reviewing the causes of the April 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon rig explosion and the ensuing 87-day oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

National Academy of Sciences President Marcia McNutt was director of the U.S. Geological Survey during the BP oil spill and was part of the high-level national team directing responses to that accident.

The BSEE and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, which focuses on offshore oil development and leasing, were separated from the former Minerals Management Service in 2010 in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon disaster to assure that the agency's safety staff was separated from those whose duties included promoting energy development.

A National Academies spokesman said Interior officials did not give a reason for halting the study in the notification it received on Dec. 7.

"The stop-work order, dated Dec. 7, says that within 90 days the stop-work order will either be lifted and work on the study can resume, or the contract to perform the study will be terminated," said the news release announcing the study halt.

On Friday, Tiffany Gray, a spokeswoman for BSEE, said "the NAS study has been paused to allow BSEE time to determine if it duplicates efforts with the development of the risk-based component of our inspection program, which is taking place internally at BSEE."

Halting the study has been criticized by several environmental groups critical of federal offshore oil regulatory efforts.

"One thing we should all be able to agree on is that safety is of paramount importance, so preventing a study like this simply flies in the face of common sense," said Jacqueline Savitz, senior vice president for U.S. oceans with the environmental group Oceana, which has been critical of BSEE enforcement actions in the past.

The study is titled "Review and Update of Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement Offshore Oil and Gas Operations Inspection Program," was to have lasted 21 months, and was aimed at answering a series of questions:

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Related: Tax that pays for oil spill cleanup trust fund expires on Dec. 31.

#Environment #OilSpill
1   BayAreaObserver   ignore (1)   2018 Jan 7, 3:42pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

President Donald Trump’s Interior Department is working to relax safety regulations on offshore drilling operations that the Obama administration had implemented after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill.

The changes aim to reduce "unnecessary regulatory burdens" on offshore oil and gas drilling in response to Trump’s orders to reduce regulatory costs and increase domestic energy production, according to the proposed rule, which the administration published Friday in the Federal Register.

Among other changes, the Trump administration is seeking to lift a requirement for qualified, independent third parties to certify that certain safety and pollution prevention devices are able to function under extreme conditions. Under the proposed changes, offshore drilling operators will instead rely on safety standards developed by the American Petroleum Institute, the oil and gas industry’s largest trade association, among other groups.

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Funny thing -- just the other day one of the tribe members was asking for someone to post something where the Dotard was rolling back safety rules and regulations. This will sure be swell on the next blowout (and there will be a next blowout) but safety costs money and a clean environment is grossly overrated...
2   Strategist   ignore (1)   2018 Jan 7, 5:50pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

This is where I disagree with Trump. He should be ashamed of himself. No worries folks.....the days of oil are limited.
3   APOCALYPSEFUCKisShostikovitch   ignore (26)   2018 Jan 7, 5:56pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

If Trump doesn't have the decency to shoot whales in the face, he shouldn't be PRECEDENT!

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