Obama Ends Moratorium on Deepwater Drilling, After ‘Reducing the Risks’
October 12, 2010
(ChattahBox US News)— Interior Secretary Ken Salazar just announced that the ban on deepwater oil drilling has been lifted by the White House, clearing the way for about 30 affected oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico to resume operations provided they can meet the new safety regulations issued by the Interior Department. The Obama administration has taken heat from the oil industry and the Gulf states, after the ban was imposed in the wake of the BP oil disaster. But new safety rules issued by the government two-weeks ago made it possible to lift the moratorium before the date originally set at the end of November.
Salazar released a statement, saying significant progress had been made in establishing new safety rules for deepwater drilling.
“We have made and continue to make significant progress in reducing the risks associated with deepwater drilling,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told reporters on a conference call. Therefore, he said, “I have decided that it is now appropriate to lift the suspension on deepwater drilling for those operators that are able to clear the higher bar that we have set.”
The New York Times reports that a number of improvements and safeguards have been made to the deepwater drilling process:
“The moratorium was supposed to run through Nov. 30 but the administration has been working on changes designed to improve safety, oversight and environmental protection standards. The Interior Department nearly two weeks ago issued new rules governing areas like well casing and cementing, blowout preventers, safety certification, emergency response and worker training.”