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. Suzy Pinkpeach

    Reports indicates that BP is about to launch its new PR campaign with the BPCares website. BP recently acquired the BPCares domains and plans to launch the website soon to battle the falsehoods by the media and the eco-sensitive strain.
    In a memo leaked to reporters, BP’s plan is to be repentful for the loss of jobs and resources to the people in the Gulf and to put forth a strategy moving forward. The domains that BP owns are:
    BPCares.com
    BPCares.net
    BPCares.org
    BPCares.info
    BPCares.us
    BPCares.biz
    The website is being beta tested and will be up soon.
    .

    October 12, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. packager_jr

    Typical government regulation. Netiher bullet listed at the bottom of the page does a darn thing to actually improve safety – it's just more useless paperwork and more cost to doing business in the U.S. It will give some enviro-wacko libbies the warm fuzzy though, knowing that Uncle Sam is now on the ball because he's made oil companies sign pieces of paper saying their compliant with said requirements.

    October 12, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  3. bobaloo

    Rev16:4,13. Beast Government money can buy....

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

    If we have another environmental disaster then lets impeach the president.

    October 12, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jmoney

    Corp. now own the planet. Us little people have no say ! This better be the last Obama term. I'm sick of the United States of Wal-Mart ruining the planet, and shipping the last good jobs overseas. We need to stand for what we believe in or it will be to late !

    October 12, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jmoney

    We better all brush up on are chinesse and german......

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

    I'm surprised they didn't try to slink this news through on a Friday so it would be forgotten by Monday. Obama's press people must be slipping. A sign?

    October 12, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Henk, Colorado

    Until right after the November elections?

    October 12, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  9. vhale

    It's kind of fun watching this rock star totally isolate his fan base. Yet another about-face on an ideology he claimed to subscribe to during the campaign. I like to call him W2, because the difference is negligible.

    October 12, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  10. The gander

    Oh, so the puke president finally realized he's a jag-off and doesn't really know anything about the world economy or what is important to the US economy.

    October 12, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Patty Chaney

    Our Presidential "Snake Oil Salesman" is so frantic, he is doing Anything to garner votes for his underlings!

    The Gulf residents have begged, for 4 1/2 months to lift the ban so that trucking companies, supply companies, etc. wouldn't have to layoff employees!

    And the BILLIONS to Mexico & Brazil is disgusting! (and TRUE)

    If he thinks lifting the ban 45 days early will help...he is more STUPID than I thought. I can't imagine ANYONE in the Gulf Coast states voting for the Dims!

    MTV......Hip Hip Bands.....what is next? I know.....FREE marajuana for everyone!

    October 12, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • scottish mama

      I guess seeing that regulations are going to be in effect to protect the people that it hurt is bad?
      I believe that the deregulation that The Bush era put in effect has yet to be cleaned up. Just another hater that gives no facts or solutions!

      October 13, 2010 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  12. guest

    When the next one blows blame Louisiana

    October 12, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  13. reality check

    For the person that posted above about relying on a single industry for your income, unless you are working 2-3 different jobs, you are doing the same thing. To anyone that is complaining about dirlling for oil, you need to take your cars back to the dealership and turn them in since you won't be driving. You need to start your own garden in your back yard because everything that is at the stores got there by trucks which use oil and gas. Now if you are already doing this, then tell us how to do it. If you are not then you are saying one thing and doing another which is hypocritical. I live less then 10 miles from the coast and I personally saw the oil on the beaches and in the marches so I know the consequences.

    October 12, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  14. gandoman

    GREED GREED GREED
    SalaCZAR with Obama's help has struck again.
    The Democrats (& I am one) actually believe that more Americans want the US Government to take risks with our environment in the hope of producing more outdated energy sources.
    Well, I will NEVER vote republican, however, the Democrats because of their stupidity HAVE LOST MY VOTE.
    You CANNOT stop the GREED of BIG OIL!
    Somewhere along in the chain of command, whether it be an Accountant who must find ways to save millions of dollars, a Rig Operator who is under pressure to finish a project with no cost overruns, a Worker on the rig who is stressed & overtired, or a CEO who wants the stock price to rise ..... GREED WILL RULE THE DAY.
    All the fines, the jail time, the loss of revenue for the company will NEVER make up for the damage to the environment.
    This is not a question of IF there will be an accident, but simply WHEN!
    Washington ... take your heads out of your asses & move into the 21st century.
    It seems that the only thing that has changed in Washington over the last 200+ years is that our government of recent memory does not really care about the future of our country.
    Our government is not a 'government' any longer. It is a group of GREEDY individuals who will do anything to get paid, support their own agenda, guarantee their own place in history & take their ego's into unchartered territory.
    The American People are being treated as if they are stupid, which though NOT politically correct, happens to be the truth. However, just because the average American is not very bright, it does not mean that a small group in Washington or in your home state should have the power to make decisions which are guaranteed to wreck the future of this country & our world. If someone is not smart enough to understand that the environment must be maintained for us to survive & other species on this planet are part of the environment than I personally wish for the Human Race to go to Hell.

    October 12, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • JDL

      Well, you can help your cause by not driving, not buying anything plastic, by not using Vaseline, converting your home to solar heat, grow your own food & raise your own livestock so that trucks don't have to use their diesel to deliver to you, etc... Comfy yet?

      October 12, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  15. TXSGirl

    More political BS.

    October 12, 2010 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
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