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. John Bannick

    Oh boy!
    More good news for the gulf states.
    Drill baby drill!

    October 12, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sigmund Erectus Floytz


      October 12, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Impeach Obama

      I guess you don't work in a green field? Maybe don't work at all?

      October 12, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Grafixer

      I wonder if the rigs have ALL been inspected. If not, is Salazar hoping that the oil companies are actually complying with the regs? It has been PROVEN that self-regulation does not work! "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."

      October 12, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geez

      Grafixer, no one has ever wanted self regulation. Less more effective regulations are better than a ton of do nothing regulations that the goverment cant (or wont) enforce. People need to get over this mindset that its not all or nothing. There is a medium where business can still work, yet the goverment ensures safety.

      October 12, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      At least the Hungary government knows how to deal with greed.


      October 12, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • concerned

      they can't even wait a few weeks until HURRICANE SEASON IS OFFICIALLY OVERRRRRRRRRRRR ?!

      October 12, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      Reg Baby Reg

      October 13, 2010 at 7:06 am | Report abuse |
  2. wrack

    Is making money really more important than everything else?

    October 12, 2010 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sigmund Erectus Floytz

      to the citizenry of this damned fool country known as the United States of Sports...money is KING!!! Nothing else matters!!!

      October 12, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • robbbbb

      More important than life it self.

      October 12, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • NealR2000

      Why don't you ask that question to someone in the Gulf who is unemployed and the family is about to lose their house?

      October 12, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • wrack

      Are you suggesting that the fate of our planet should be determined by a single family who has thus far relied on a single industry for income? really? way to think small.

      October 12, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • C.J.

      @wrack: Do you really think and/or believe that offshore drilling in Gulf of Mexico puts the "fate of the planet" at risk? Come on now, who's thinking small now? Wake up, you need that oil just the same as the next person.

      October 12, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • wrack

      Maybe you have short-term memory issues. The moratorium was put in place on deep water drilling because deep water drilling wiped out an entire region.

      October 12, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Impeach Obama

      Posted this to wrong note. Meant it for Wrack. I guess you don't work in a green field? Maybe don't work at all?

      October 12, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • curious steve


      October 12, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • ames wolff

      No...but until there is a concerted effort in this country to unlatch from the ME oil teat...let's drill.

      October 12, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • cpope

      having just spent a great deal of time "in the area wiped out" maybe you should visit and not listen to the media all the time – the region is not wiped out and is recovering. And there are plenty of Louisiana folks who are damned ready for this moratorium to end. You obviously have no clue what living on the Gulf Coast means – and before you say you wouldn't live here, remember we don't necessarily want you.

      October 12, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • wrack

      Do you believe that what happens there has no affect anywhere else?

      October 12, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • C.J.

      Wrack please explain to all us dummies out there how no fishing in the northern part of the Gulf (you make it seem as if the spill spread throughout the entire region) affects the entire planet? I don't want to hear your pity story for the the poor crusteceans at the the bottom of the sea bed. I want real world examples of how the oil spill affected more than the Gulf residents of LA, TX, or MI.

      October 12, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Texas Pete

      I was not aware the oil spread all the way to Michigan.

      October 12, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • C.J.

      At least someone picked up on my sense of humor in this post.

      October 12, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  3. sonny chapman

    The Moratorium should never have been issued. Instead, Obama should have sent a nice letter to all of the oil companies drilling offshore asking them to PLEASE try to be more careful.

    October 12, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Converned citizen

    Finally, but Obama is just doing this totry to get some positive political coverage, too little -too late, Mr Stupid President. Maybe now we can finally get on the track to enegry independence and quit relying on foreign oil.

    October 12, 2010 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sigmund Erectus Floytz

      U mean the continuous and ramped up demise of the world, due to this president not making good on any of his pre-election push to get alternative energy! This president is a complete Son of a bi+ch!!!

      October 12, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dee

      When will Americans realize that MOST of our "foreign" oil comes from CANADA and NOT the Middle East? All the time and money wasted on destroying our seabeds and marine life, we could have totally been investing in and using wave, solar and geothermal energy sources. But HEY, where's the MONEY in THAT, right? Idiots...

      October 12, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • wrack

      what's a "converned citizen"?

      October 12, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sigmund Erectus Floytz

    Next in line HUGE mistake for this ignoramus administration...this one being pushed through this prez.' goozle like shi+ through a gooseneck by big Republicans...they will not stop the extinction of the United States until the last drop of blood is extracted from the ignorant citizenry which is going to vote for another round of the crooks three weeks from now!

    October 12, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan, TX

      Since you aren't going to vote anyway, why should we care about your opinion. Really, you sound stupid. You can't vote for a republican, you can't vote for a democrat, so just vote for some random party or don't vote, no one cares about you or your opinions because you are worse than Sarah Palin.

      October 12, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. whitekong78

    Obama ran on helping the average citizen. They all do. I notice whenever you bring up an easy solution to unemployment like outlawing outsourcing the partisan sheep dodge the issue. USING CAPS sporadically in your text does not change your message. $1.4 trillion dollars could have given $30,000.00 to every taxpayer. That money could be used to pay off a mortgage, buy a car, or pay off personal debt. The corporate fat cats that were the beneficiaries of the stimulus could find solvency from other businesses or countries. They got a killer loan at a great low interest rate. The powerful want us all in debt so we can be slaves to them. Hillary Clinton essentially blamed high school kids who are targeted by drug dealers as the reason for Mexican violence. Our government knows where the drugs are produced yet they ignore the cartels and blame American children. Obama is a smooth talking say anything politician PERIOD. Americans know this. He doesn’t want to fix the problems because then Americans wouldn’t need him. The more problems that exist the more the population needs politicians. Its munchausen syndrome politics.

    October 12, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eric in RTP

      ? half of the $ you are referring to is being paid back with interest.. and was one of the many successes of teh Bush admin although Obama has taken all the heat for it and had to set up the regulation the other half was mostly tax breaks and money given to states to tighten up their budget shortfalls so you are suggesting that the gov should have loaned 30k to every citizen thus putting us further into "personal" debt. Simple minded people liek you should be banned from the internet... actually banned from voting. Either your anger blinds you or you are just really stupid or don't care about those little darn things called facts.

      October 12, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • LucyRicky

      You are absolutely correct!! They want a dependent citizenry to control. They don't want us drilling for our own oil. The Administration was trying to make the gulf coast people dependent upon the government. We need their oil, it's our oil, we use it, it employs thousands of people, AND we wouldn't be in deep water if it wasn't for the tree hugging environmentalists anyway! The moratorium should have been on deep water drilling – not shallow water drilling. We need to get out of the Gulf and start drilling on land where it is safer to contain. If it was so detrimental why would our administration send billions, yes, billions to Brazil and Mexico to drill for oil in the Gulf????? Political ploy that everyone can see through just before the elections!

      October 12, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Texas Pete

      $1.4 trillion / 300 million US citizens works out to about $4,500 each.

      October 12, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Ken Krieger

    The drilling was already lifted once then we found that the Obama Administration had stopped it again. Now they are saying that they are starting again. Will Obama use a new regulation to stop it again tomorrow. START......STOP........START'...........STOP. Ken Krieger Cape Coral, Florida

    October 12, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Raquel

    To the wisecracking smarta– comments already posted, you must not live in the area where drilling is a vital part of the economy. I live in Louisiana where the people in my family have worked in the oilfield for most of the 41 years of my life and now my husband, nephews and nieces husbands all work in the oilfield. So YES we are happy that the Obama Administration is going to lift the mortorium. Now, I may not have to worry so much about if and when my husband may or maynot be layed off!

    October 12, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • capnmike

      Obviously all you care about is your lousy jobs. It doesn't matter to you if the entire planet is destroyed, as long as you have your stinking jobs. Lady, there are a lot more important issues here than just your little selfish viewpoint.

      October 12, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Psavoie

      To anyone who thinks that lifting the moratorium is a bad idea, try chewing on this for a while. You seem to be more concerned about the environment than the people who live in the environment. Your approach to this drilling issue is like saying that all flights should be cancelled due to a plane crash. There is no alternative at this point that can supplant the amount of energy that is created by fossil fuels. We must drill here and we must drill now, unless you like supporting terrorism with every gallon of gasoline that you buy from people that hate your very existence!
      To stop drilling off shore due to the blowout is ludicrous. We all agree that there needs to be better oversight and regulations, sure, but to stop drilling in one of the most prolific fields in the US is not the answer.
      Those of you who think that we can survive on alternative energy alone sure better stock up on their batteries and flash lights and be ready for rolling black outs, horse drawn buggies with metal wheels, no A/C, and the list goes on.
      Grow up and stop believing what the progressive left wants you to believe...... there is no alternative at this time that can supplant hydrocarbons!!!!!!

      October 12, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Marshland

    Just because the moratorium is lifted doesn't mean they will issue drilling permits.

    October 12, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • the truth

      apparently capnmike you are a tree huging fool i mean really so the vechicle you drive doesnt use oil idiot

      October 12, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • asgard

      But it opens the possibility doesn't it?

      October 12, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  10. snownut

    This is merely a ploy for Dem's votes for the O show and his cronies. All credible sources have deemed that large scale damage that was feared has not materialized, yet we stop them because of party agenda, not policy. They so easily could have let them start up knowing more rules/regulations/oversight are needed and coming, and would have had a lot of people back to work. This was also to sock it to BP as unemployment is "on there dime" as oil is not big on the "greenies" energy list, further blackening their eye with this mess (not that they didn't deserve most of it). They know they are in trouble and desperate times call for desperate measures.

    October 12, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Concerned citizen

    Raquel, I feel so sorry for all the hard workers who were punished by a stupid response to an acciodent that should have never happened, but did. If we use this same logic, every time a car crashes, we stop driving.

    October 12, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • TexJB

      Not True... However, everytime a car crashes and it is determined that the car malfunctioned, the auto manufacturer is required to issue a recall.

      October 12, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jim

    What new regulations have been put in place to pervent another disaster? If nothing has been changed then why did the government impose the moratorium in the first place. NASA stopped shuttle flights after a disaster and we see the changes that took affect because of it.

    October 12, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  13. capnmike

    They just can't learn, can they? No matter what else happens, no matter what disaster humans create, the big corporations and crooked politicians insure that we will all continue to toddle off to hell and the disasters will continue. I wonder what lame excuses they will cook up next time.

    October 12, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  14. magnus

    Drilling to resume: Time to buy stock in SLB.

    October 12, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Concerned citizen

    Hey Sigmund limp dick, what enegry source did you use to see this posting, I bet it wasn't green. Alternate enegry such as wind is a complete waste of resources, ever think what it took to build that giant windmill, and if it wasn't for govermnment subsidies, there would be none.

    October 12, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guester

      Yes, solar is the way to go. Wind is a fad.

      October 12, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
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