Interior Secretary Announces Drilling-Safety Rules

Publication: The Wall Street Journal

Author: Siobhan Hughes and Tennille Tracy


09/30/2010 - U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on Thursday announced long-expected offshore-drilling and workplace-safety rules and said the requirements are the first in a wave of new regulations aimed at avoiding a repeat of the BP PLC (BP, BP.LN) disaster, the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

The safety regulations, which mostly formalize rules established months ago, also create new costs and threaten more delays for an industry where work has been stopped for four months. Since late May, oil-services companies have laid off workers because of a government-ordered deepwater-drilling ban and tried to keep others employed in maintenance jobs while they wait for the regulations that the Obama administration says are necessary for drilling to resume.

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Environmentalists also are concerned about whether the regulations will survive if the political mood in the U.S. changes and Americans vote in pro-drilling politicians.

"What about future administrations and how they go back to this cozy relationship with the industry?" said Marilyn Heiman, director of the Pew Environment Group's offshore energy program. She said that the regulations need to be put into law or "you've got a real problem."

Read the full article, Interior Secretary Announces Drilling-Safety Rules on The Wall Street Journal'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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