Remember the BP Oil Spill? Trump Wants to Roll Back Regulations That Would Prevent Another

The proposed changes mean more money for oil companies and less safeguards against spills

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Remember the BP Oil Spill? Trump Wants to Roll Back Regulations That Would Prevent Another

There’s something about graphic news coverage of environmental disasters that makes one feel particularly helpless and distraught—-for example, the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, which marked the worst oil spill in U.S. history, with over 200 million gallons emptied into the Gulf of Mexico over the course of 87 days. One million birds dead. $18.7 billion in civil penalties and damages.

Luckily, President Donald Drumpf is here to help by removing certain environmental and safety regulations set in place by the Obama administration, which his proposal refers to as “certain unnecessary regulatory burdens.” He had intended to do so via an executive order in April, and the Department of the Interior published the proposed rule changes on Friday.

As we write in our review of 2014 post oil-spill doc Vanishing Pearls, “A national investigation showed that the problems did not begin with the spill itself, but with the very presence of all of the oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. Similar to the events leading up to Hurricane Katrina, proper steps had not been taken to avoid or prepare for such a disaster.” The Obama administration’s regulations after the oil spill could not completely eliminate an oil rig presence, but instead focused on trying to ensure the safety of drilling equipment (which failed during the Deepwater Horizon spill), and did bar certain portions of the American coastline from drilling.

According to The Interior Department’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, which regulates offshore oil and gas drilling, the changes will save extraction companies some $288 million over the next decade. Among the proposed changes, BSEE would no longer require third-party inspection of safety equipment.

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