Tuesday, June 08, 2010

President Obama To Reopen Offshore Drilling

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The Obama administration's delay in releasing new safety requirements for offshore oil and gas drilling in shallow waters and their six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling in water deeper than 500 feet has angered Gulf coast residents, politicians and industry officials. Jobs are the issue. So in addition to the region being threatened by BP's spill, they are also threatened by significant job losses due to the federal government's reaction to the accident.

The Center opposes expanded offshore oil and gas drilling.

The administration is promising to move quickly to release new safety requirements that would allow the reopening of offshore oil and gas exploration in shallow waters. The oil industry is awaiting new safety regulations from the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service, which canceled some offshore drilling permits last week and has had others on hold since early May.

The new drilling regulations are expected to require drillers to have independent operators certify that the blowout preventers work as designed to shut off the flow of oil; that independent operators certify the well design plan is adequate, including proper casing, or cement lining; that the driller certifies it is in compliance with all regulations and have done all needed tests. (WSJ, 6/8/2010)

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