From The Good Folks At NRDC.
The new ‘normal’ is descending on the Gulf of Mexico. The Obama administration Tuesday lifted its six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico much to the chagrin of the NRDC and other environmentalists. New safety standards will make a disastrous oil spill much less likely, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said confidently. Drillers must meet “the higher bar we have set” in order to get new permits, he added, including written certifications by oil company executives that they have met all the safety rules. Companies must also have specific plans for dealing with any spill. This latest action potentially blunts a serious political issue in the weeks before the midterm congressional election. The moratorium had ignited anger among Gulf residents because it cost jobs and added to a dismal economic picture for the beleaguered people of the Gulf. While the temporary ban on exploratory oil and gas drilling is lifted, drilling is unlikely to resume immediately. Michael Bromwich, director of the agency that oversees offshore drilling, said it would take “at least a couple of weeks” after the ban is lifted before permits are approved.
“The oil and gas industry will be operating under tighter rules, stronger oversight, and in a regulatory environment that will remain dynamic as we continue to build on the reforms we have already implemented” – Interior Secretary Ken Salazar
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“I am not going to release my hold on Jack Lew. Instead, I will take this time to look closely at how (Bureau of Ocean Energy Management) is handling the issuing of permits and whether or not drilling activity in both shallow and deep water is resuming” – Sen. Mary Landrieu
AOLnews.com: White House lifts ban on deepwater drilling
Timing is everything. And the time final came. The Obama administration on Tuesday lifted the six-month moratorium on deep water oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico that was imposed after the BP oil spill. The administration has been under heavy pressure from the industry and others in the region to lift the ban on grounds it has cost jobs and damaged the economy. A federal report estimated that the moratorium likely caused a temporary loss of 8,000 to 12,000 jobs in the Gulf region.
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NPR: The politics of lifting the Gulf drilling ban
The Obama administration’s decision to lift the ban on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico doesn’t immediately turn into a win for the president. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., continues to hold the nomination of OMB director Jack Lew hostage because she wants other concessions from the administration. Two Republican governors – from Louisiana and Mississippi – took the occasion to focus their opposition to the moratorium in the first place.
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Washington Post: How politics collided with offshore drilling policy
Los Angeles Times: Reaction mixed to lifting drill ban
Reaction to the Obama administration’s move to lift the six-month moratorium on deep-water drilling was swift Tuesday. There were plenty of cheers and definitely a few critics crying that it is too soon to allow deepwater drilling to resume. Before they can resume drilling, rig operators must file for new permits, satisfying a raft of new safety regulations that have been imposed since the April 20 spill, and have their rigs and drilling operations re-inspected.
Christian Science Monitor: Neither side happy with lifting of drill moratorium
Environmental groups said that it was “premature” to lift the deepwater drilling moratorium in the Gulf. The oil industry is worried that federal regulators are not finished creating new drilling standards.
Dailymail.com: Shell oil criticizes BP
The sudden criticism from Shell oil over the Gulf oil spill and BP left everyone scratching their heads. Royal Dutch Shell launched a blistering attack on beleaguered rival BP over the devastating Gulf of Mexico oil spill. ‘Shell clearly would have drilled this well in a different way and would have had more options to prevent the accident from happening,” a top official said.
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Bloomberg: Report: Gulf spill won’t impact other production
It looks like the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico won’t slow deepwater drilling elsewhere in the world, according to the International Energy Agency. “We currently do not foresee any significant impact on production elsewhere,” the IEA predicted in a report published Wednesday.
New York Times: Europe considers restricting deepwater drilling
As the Gulf coast continues to struggle with the aftermath of the BP oil spill, Europe may be taking a few lessons from the trauma of the last six months. The European Commission is on the verge of proposing a curb on drilling in extreme conditions until an inquiry into the causes of the fatal explosion is completed.
New York Times: Lifting the drill moratorium comes too soon
In the face of America’s oil addiction two things seem to fade fast — the wallet shock of $4-a-gallon gasoline and the political impact of an oil spill, once it’s stanched, The New York Times writes.
Bemidji Pioneer: Is it too soon to lift moratorium?
Lifting the ban will put people to work, and that is important. But it is also important that Congress act soon to provide the best protection to the Gulf Coast region for safe oil and natural gas drilling. For the environment’s sake, we hope it was the right decision, the Bemidji Pioneer writes.
Federal News Radio: Allen looks back at the Gulf crisis
Ret. Adm. Thad Allen took time Tuesday to review his experiences leading the response to the Gulf oil spill until Oct. 1. The biggest challenge was bringing “unity of effort” across the various departments and agencies, he told Federal News Radio. “Managing one of these crises sometimes takes on a semblance of a reality show,” Allen added.