Pressure on for Swift Makeover of Drilling Regulator

Publication: NPR's All Things Considered

Author: Brian Naylor


07/05/2010 - The federal agency charged with overseeing offshore oil drilling has been given a new name and has a new director. But critics say the changes have to go far beyond the surface at an agency derided for its too-cozy relationship with the industry it's charged with regulating.

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Marilyn Heiman is a former Clinton administration Interior Department official. She now directs the Pew Environment Group's Offshore Energy Reform Project. She says training and paying those inspectors is another issue.

Ms. MARILYN HEIMAN (Director, Offshore Energy Reform Project, Pew Environment Group): I don't think that they have kept pace with what the industry has in place. This is a very complicated industry with very complex technology, and you need to have regulators who understand that. And that means paying them enough so that they don't go work for the industry as soon as they know the trade.

Listen to Pressure on for Swift Makeover of Drilling Regulator on the NPR 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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