October 12th, 2010
01:20 PM ET

Obama administration lifts deepwater drilling moratorium

The Obama administration is lifting the moratorium on deepwater oil drilling that was put in place after the Gulf oil disaster, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Tuesday.

Salazar and the new head of the government agency overseeing offshore drilling, Michael Bromwich, were scheduled to hold a 1 p.m.
news conference on the issue.

Salazar suspended certain deepwater drilling activities on July 12 under the premise that certain deepwater drilling posed a threat to the marine, coastal, and human environment.

Since then, Salazar has determined that deepwater oil and gas drilling can resume provided that operators certify compliance with all existing rules and requirements, including those that recently went into effect, the Department of Interior said in a press release.

Members of industry must also demonstrate the availability of adequate blowout containment resources, the department said.

“We have more work to do in our reform agenda, but at this point we believe the strengthened safety measures we have implemented, along with improved spill response and blowout containment capabilities, have reduced risks to a point where operators who play by the rules and clear the higher bar can be allowed to resume," Salazar said. 

" 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.”

Salazar reached the decision after reviewing a report by Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement Director Michael Bromwich and considering other information on the progress of offshore oil and gas safety reforms, availability of spill response resources, and improved blowout containment capabilities, the agency said.

In his decision today, Secretary Salazar directs BOEM to require the following before approving deepwater drilling: 

– Members of industry must be subject to written and enforceable obligations that ensure containment resources are immediately available in the event of a deepwater blowout, regardless of the company or operator involved.  The Department of the Interior has a process underway regarding the establishment of a mechanism relating to the availability of blowout containment resources, and Secretary Salazar said he expects that this mechanism will be implemented in the near future. 

– The CEO of each operator seeking to perform deepwater drilling certify to BOEM that the operator has complied with all regulations, including the new drilling safety rules.

Read the full story on CNN.com.

soundoff (147 Responses)
  1. tomcat

    do you think things would be diffrent had they invented it? Phil you knnw the govermant does not like to be one upped

    October 12, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  2. phil

    tomcat...it's not a matter of oneupsmanship. It's a matter of big-gov officials making big-money personally off of forcing US to burn oil rather than natural gas in our engines.

    October 12, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  3. tomcat

    Phil you know that i know (hold on had a Honeymooners flash back) who butters the bread in politics. it sure is not natural gas bio fuels

    October 12, 2010 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • scottish mama

      And who killed the electric Car?

      October 13, 2010 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  4. alumette

    When I voted for Obama, I wanted changes. I got more of the same that went on with Bush. The health care plan he passed is too new to be in our faces, for the good or the bad. In terms of the environment and the protection of the planet...it is not there. He failed in my opinion as he lifted the ban on deep drilling means only one thing: he is in with the oil companies and once again, we who really care for the planet and the future of our progeny, are screwed....as usual.

    October 12, 2010 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      I guess putting regulations and enforcing them in the mean time is just too slow for U. I beleive if President Obama had come into office without a many huge crisis on the books {2 wars, economic disaster, No regs in the gulf, etc}, he could have taken on the energy situation. Another 4 he might be able to get to his energy promises. But the people who are wanting a quick fix are too impatient. Slow and steady will win the race. Time can be on the side of the people.

      October 13, 2010 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |
  5. what

    Greed,when our world ends in sh$t.people the oil be pump is sold to opec.we dont owe or control oil,british does.we pay market share.

    October 12, 2010 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
  6. what

    We dont need to drill for oilif we used alternative fuel like corn,oh no it would sink the middle east economy and oil greedy companies.oil riggers learn another trade,we did north after the factories went to china.

    October 12, 2010 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  7. phil

    We, the USA, has never ever been dependant on middle-eastern oil. NEVER! In no clandar year have we EVER purchased more than 6.25 % of our oil from there. Yet most Americans truly believe that we need Arab oil to survive. Why is it that this lie about our depenance on Arab oil is so widely believed?

    October 13, 2010 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
  8. Help

    Hey guys, will you visit SaveStan.ORG a friend of mine with 4 young babies is fighting for his life...... Thanks

    October 13, 2010 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
  9. phil

    What we the people are really dependant on, is other nations like China and G.B., who are dependant on Arab oil, extending US credit so we can survive. And so "we" have no problem sending troops to the middle-east thinking they are there to secure our oil supply. In reality, they are there protecting our creditors oil supply. Imagine how much that plastic "made in China" American flag you purchased at wal-mart will cost if the troops in Afghanistan come home.

    October 13, 2010 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
    • scottish mama

      Someone with some sense of what is really going on. I have to look for it on some blogs. The big picture. The scheme of things. Whats a country to do to help us along?

      October 13, 2010 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  10. phil

    "Something Safer" has always been here. Natural gas. You heat your home with it, we have more of it than any other nation, and you an run your car off of it. It burns clean: zero emissions. It's proven technology. Only one thing stands in the way of US fully utilizing it: our leaders personally profit tremendously from US burning oil instead.

    October 13, 2010 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • scottish mama

      Change is needed. I see a whole new political party on the rise. The people choice. I guess the coffee party I suggested in January will come to fruition.
      Community
      Of
      Friends
      Famiily
      Employers
      Engaged

      October 13, 2010 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
    • scottish mama

      Tap Baby Tap?

      October 13, 2010 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • scottish mama

      I think trepidation on the part of Americans is what is holding US back. Change of a whole new system of getting around. The way we gas up our cars. Natural gas has gone up, how about the electric car?

      October 13, 2010 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  11. Sherri W.W.

    WELL~NO MATTER "WHAT" PRES.O.DOES ITS SUPPOSEDLY NOT "RIGHT"~AND THE VERY SAME PEOPLE WHO WANTED HIM "TO" DO WHATEVER HE IS DOING,SAY 2MOS.AGO~NOW ITS WRONG IF HE DOES IT!~HISTORY WILL SHOW THAT HE IS A BRILLIANT MAN,TRYING TO SAVE THE MIDDLE CLASS OF AMERICA~and~WIL L ALSO SHOW THAT THE RICH AND CRAZY MADE TOTAL FOOLS OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE!~THE VOTERS! I SAID IT BEFORE~AND I WILL SAY IT AGAIN~~

    October 13, 2010 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  12. Sherri W.W.

    IF PRESIDENT OBAMA WAS A LESSOR MAN~AND NOT WANTING TO PROTECT US FROM THESE CRAZIES AND THE RICH~HE SHOULD TELL US ALL TO GO TO HELL! AND LET US SINK OR SWIM!~AND BELIEVE ME,IF THE ONES WHO ARE TRYING SO HARD RIGHT NOW ,TO TAKE THIS COUNTRY OVER~GET THE JOB DONE~THEN WE WILL SINK!~ Fools all!!

    October 13, 2010 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  13. Ok liberals, you've been heard, now PLEASE VOTE REPUBLICAN!!!!!

    1. Wrack, you are an ignorant liberal, please stop speaking. Ignorant liberals having the right to speak is the reason this country is regressing as fast as it is. 2. Joe, you are also an ignorant liberal, please, don't speak. You are probably the same people that said its not right to say "Merry Christmas" because we might offend the Athiests, you are probably the same people who voted AGAINST saying the Pledge of Allegiance in our schools....GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!! If you don't like it, LEAVE IT! And when I say God I am not talking about any other than the Father of Jesus Christ!! I am not trying to insult anyone, but I will say this much, ignorant liberal ideas would work great IN A MOVIE!!! like a romance comedy or something!!! But then again, how could you even make a movie without oil? How can you do ANYTHING in an industrialized society without oil. That is a great question isn't it? in fact, if you can answer that question, you watch entirely too much TV. Oh and wrack, your ignorant comment about "one single family" relying on this industry....try hundreds of thousands of families.....including MINE!! The moratorium was simply a punishment to the people of Louisiana. A punishment for not giving into unrealistic ideals, and voting against Obama. And a punishment it was, my good friend who has a wife and 2 kids has lost his business, and is on the verge of losing his home, and this is just one of my close friends, that's not including everyone else in the same or worse situations. so liberals, PLEASE STOP SPEAKING!!!!!

    October 16, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. michael

    Need to have B.P suck up the oil from the bottom of the gulf if they dont then they realy never cleaned up the mess. Do i need to sue them my self were are our leaders-- when its time to go to work to protect and surve.! You mean surve your self no protect your own intres....

    October 19, 2010 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
  15. TH

    Wow – imagine now there will have to be a plan!! I feel better already – These B**tards (both industry & gov't) should be tied to the whippin post for not having plans to control BO's before venturing out into deepwater. Their previous "plans" didn't amount to a crock of beans – designing control facilities after blowout inevitably occured.

    November 5, 2010 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
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