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Oil Drilling to Resume in Gulf of Mexico

Oil Drilling to Resume in Gulf of Mexico

Thirteen companies will be allowed to restart their deepwater drilling activities in the Gulf of Mexico, after being authorized to do so by the Dept. of the Interior. The federal government said these companies had oil drilling projects that were approved before a moratorium stopped drilling in the Gulf due to the environmental disaster. However, these companies’ oil drilling projects were approved by the same government agency that also approved the Deepwater Horizon drilling. Known then as the Minerals Management Service, it was uncovered that some of their employees had accepted gifts from the oil industry, done drugs, watched online pornography at work, and inspected oil rigs for the government, while negotiating paid work with an oil company.

Because of the internal corruption and mismanagement, the Minerals Management Service fired some employees, and changed their name to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE). But how much has the agency actually changed if it allowed the old approval process, which played a role in the disaster, to say to these thirteen companies it is acceptable for you to drill again? What supposedly has changed is the implementation of stronger safety regulations for oil drilling projects, but how does the public know if they are being applied?

A presidential commission examining the Deepwater Horizon explosion said, “The missteps were rooted in systemic failures by industry management … and also by failures of government to provide effective regulatory oversight of offshore drilling.” It also notes if systemic changes are not made, there is a good chance of another oil drilling disaster. (Source: Bradenton.com)

Compounding the fact that it appears politics has interfered with actually taking a stand to protect the Gulf, is the very inconvenient truth that the oil in the Gulf still hasn’t been cleaned up. Anyone who was following the Gulf oil disaster story that went on for months, probably heard about the federal government’s claim that most of the oil had vanished. In August scientists said though that about 79 percent of the oil was still in the Gulf, but it had sunk to the bottom and saturated sediments. The same scientists said it would take years for the oil to degrade. So how many huge oil spills in the Gulf will it take before the government actually does the job right and only allows new drilling using an improved environmental review process? It almost seems as if the people in charge are deliberating designing a system to fail. From 1971 to 2000, the federal government allowed an estimated 250,000 oil spills (259,560,000 gallons of oil) in United States waters.

Related:
Who’s Really to Blame for the BP Oil Spill?
The Oil Spill’s Effect on Our Food System
20 Ways to Reduce Your Dependence on Oil
10 Facts about the Gulf Oil Spill

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72 comments

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2:18PM PDT on Sep 30, 2012

Sad

2:17PM PDT on Sep 30, 2012

Sad

7:09PM PDT on May 18, 2012

Isaac Bashevis Singer Nobel Peace Prize Winner wrote in his book, 'Enemies a love story', "As often has Herman had witnessed the slaughter of animals and fish, he always had the same thought. In their behaviour toward creatures, all men were Nazi’s. The smugness with which man could do with other species as he pleased exemplify the most extreme racist theories the principle that might is right. Lest we forget!

2:51AM PDT on May 5, 2012

NO!!!!!!!!!!

2:50AM PDT on May 5, 2012

NO!!!!!!!!!!

4:17PM PST on Jan 27, 2012

Basd idea!

2:29PM PDT on Jul 7, 2011

This is madness, the damage in the area from the bp spill has not been corrected and they want to continue poisoning the area, where is the common sense in the government, and what about the people in the area, will they not stop until the kill marine life and finish ruining the area.

10:22AM PDT on Jul 6, 2011

Big, big mistake. Anybody (or any company) that takes Sarah Pain's "Drill, baby, drill" ideology to heart is a nutjob. All that drilling will kill damage the environment even worse than now. Whatever happened to exploing and maximizing the benefits of renewable resources?

4:06PM PDT on Apr 12, 2011

Frontline "The Spill": http://video.pbs.org/video/1625293496

4:01PM PDT on Apr 12, 2011

The government is once again failing miserably to protect the environment from inevitable spills, subsidence, blowouts, underground explosions and fires which burn for decades. NEPA is not being followed only the oil-based energy policy. The government is culpable in any spill, fire explosion, blowout from the offshore drilling ot the refineries to the Alaska pipeline and operations, because they don't apply permit and inspection requirements. See pbs.org's The Spill, detailing BPs accident history and many fatalities, from the gulf of Mexico, to the Texas City refinery, to the Alaska pipeline and operations. Most of these were caused in order to save money, running equipment to failure rather than for designed lifespan, failure to clean the pipes for over a decade when they should have been regularly cleaned, using outmoded blowdown stacks instead of modern equipment which drains fluid, gases and uses flares.

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