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White House Plans To Lift Deepwater Drilling Ban Weeks Before Deadline

White House Plans To Lift Deepwater Drilling Ban Weeks Before Deadline

The Obama administration announced Tuesday that it has plans to put an early end to the deepwater drilling ban that has been in place since the disasterous BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

After putting new rules in place that were designed to make deepwater drilling safer, the White House feels that it is in position to lift the ban as early as this week.

[Update: 10/12/10 2 pm ET] The New York Times is now reporting that the drilling ban will be lifted immediately, although it will be weeks or even months before drilling operations can resume, because new permits must now be granted.

The moratorium put in place by president Obama months ago was slated to expire on November 30th.

Almost two weeks ago, the Interior Department issued new rules governing areas like well casing and cementing, blowout preventers, safety certification, emergency response and worker training (NY Times).

The White House has been the target of intense pressure from the oil industry and Gulf Coast officials and businesses that believe it has had a negative effect on the region’s economy.

When the moratorium went into affect, 33 deep-water rigs in the Gulf were forced to cease operation, affecting many jobs and angering the oil companies.

Residents and environmentalists shocked by the negative impact the Gulf oil spill has had on wildlife, seafood, businesses and tourism, have encouraged the government to keep the moratorium in place, and even advocate extending it to offshore drilling.

BP, which has been ordered to pay billions of dollars in claims and remediation efforts following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, threatened to stop paying claims if the drilling ban was extended.

While making the announcement, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs emphasized that the move would impose new safety measures on those seeking to drill exploratory wells. Those entities and the companies they represent will have to prove they have the appropriate steps in place to contain a worst-case scenario (AL.com).

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96 comments

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10:45AM PDT on Oct 20, 2010

Not good. The control that the ultra wealthy has on the world needs to be stopped.
they are less then 1% of the humans on this planet. I want to know why they are still in charge?
Why do they get to take the resources and leave the rest of the inhabitants of the is planet in dread.

5:18AM PDT on Oct 19, 2010

Most defintely NO. thank you for sharing article x

4:53AM PDT on Oct 19, 2010

What the hell, why are we not getting this right!
Have we not SEEN what dirty oil does, or do we need more examples on how to screw-up this wonderfull planet of ours???

6:55PM PDT on Oct 18, 2010

I've come to the conclusion that everyone in politics owns some oil stock. 'there can't be any other answer as far as I can see. Otherwise, WHY would anyone, especially our President, give Big Oil such a big advantage, which takes away from the citizens of the United States?

3:47PM PDT on Oct 18, 2010

Protesting doesn't work at all. The gov't is going to do whatever they want and if you don't agree or cooperate they've already put in a plan to declare martial Law and you still have no choice. It's a sad situation in politics. Not that is was ever sweet.

6:18PM PDT on Oct 17, 2010

They will do what they want. It does not matter what we the people say any more. When it comes to greed money and oil forget it they are going to go for it!!!! Just speaking the truth. The rich get richer and the poor and middle class what the heck is middle class any more? There is none you just keep getting poor. Living from pay check to pay check. Not unless your a sergon, a big time lawyer, Persident, Senator, Congress,or Zalazar who sells our horses for slaughter which is against the law, but still gets away with it, How as Obama?

1:05PM PDT on Oct 17, 2010

I agree with Barbara. How dare this evil company BP presume that they will withhold the claims that they owe to all the people who lost so much business because of their lack of safety and concerns if the government does not let them begin again.. Please tell me - Where are the lawyers defending these people.????? Probably the same lawyers that are defending the banks and the Wall Street People and the same lawyers that are scooping large cash from the people who are losing their homes.!!!!! Since it is the lawyers who make the laws and the loop-holes for big business

10:15AM PDT on Oct 17, 2010

Thank you for informing!..NO as the answer for the quick poll question.

9:42AM PDT on Oct 17, 2010

BP, which has been ordered to pay billions of dollars in claims and remediation efforts following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, threatened to stop paying claims if the drilling ban was extended.
I would like to sink this rotten company and the companies that work with them, making millions of dollars off of our very blood in our veins, in the deepest part of the ocean. Who do they think they are, threatening to stop payment for their own stupidity? We should tar and feather the idiots! Can't we sue them for what they did? Stop payment on the air they breath and see where they end up! Haven't we ruined enough of our waters by the useless poluting? We do not need all these ugly oil wells. Let these companies start pumping from their capped wells and no more drilling anywhere!!!

2:52AM PDT on Oct 17, 2010

A government should only consider an early lift of a ban IF this lifting is proved to be a real benefit for the people/environment comparing it to the ban situation.

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