The Next Oil Spill: Five Needed Mandates to Head it Off

Publication: National Geographic News

Author: Marianne Lavelle

01/11/2011 - As the oil industry forges deeper into riskier waters and other frontiers, both companies and government overseers need to radically overhaul their approach to safety, concluded the U.S. commission appointed by President Obama to examine the causes of BP's disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The seven-member commission agreed unanimously that the spill was not caused by the actions of one rogue player, but by a systemic failure born of years of complacency.


Marilyn Heiman, director of Pew Environment Group's offshore energy reform project, praised the commission for compiling the evidence needed for more protective legislation and industry action.

"Deepwater and the ultra deepwater and the Arctic—we are talking about really pushing the edge of the envelope, and the risks really are increased," she said. "We need to increase safety measures and response to that same level. Technology has far outpaced our ability to respond and prevent an oil spill."

Read the complete article The Next Oil Spill: Five Needed Mandates to Head it Off on National Geographic's Web site.

The Pew Environment Group’s offshore energy reform work is now a part of Pew’s Arctic Ocean Program.  

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