Friday, June 04, 2010

No new permits - for now

There were conflicting reports in the media yesterday, but it appears the rumored shallow water drilling permits were rescinded after two new ones were authorized earlier. But the moratorium on drilling won't last forever.
Oil and natural gas producers drilling in 500 feet or less of water will be able to resume operations once they resubmit exploratory plans and comply with new safety standards the Interior Department is set to begin advancing soon. In a drilling safety report issued May 27, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar provided a hint of some of the new requirements, including recertification of essential safety equipment and stiffened standards for capping wells.

It is appropriate to begin “pulling back exploration plans ... and requiring them to be updated with new information” about safety and risk, said Bob Abbey, director of the Bureau of Land Management.
I'm thinking what would be more appropriate is to rescind every damn permit, forever. While this is the worst accident yet, smaller ones have routinely occurred on other rigs. I don't think there is a way to make water drilling truly safe and fouling the sea just isn't worth it. Wish they would put half as much resources into developing clean energy as they do in protecting fossil fuels that harm our environment when they're extracted and again when they're burned.

[More posts daily at The Detroit News]

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