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. GOPer

    Drill more, baby. Drill more. Pollute more water, baby. Pollute more water. More dirty air, baby. More dirty air. Money, baby. Money. Be greed, baby. Be greed.

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

    How about lifting the moratorium on the 1 trillion barrels of oil locked up in the midwest? That way we wouldn't have to keep drilling offshore!

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

    To all you people who say we shouldn't drill, or the ones the south that are loosing jobs should shut up and quit being selfish. You are complete idiots, i bet you get in your car this morning, burn your few gallons of gas that come from other places than the US, so we ship more jobs overseas, you keep driving your pretty little car and never think where the gas in it comes from. Don't turn on a light, your electricity comes from mostly coal and natural gas...oh wait... we shouldn't get natural gas any more either.

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

    Obama wants votes- a political move

    October 12, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  5. GOPer

    Drill more, baby. Drill more. Pollute more water, baby. Pollute more water. More dirty air, baby. More dirty air. Money, baby. Money. Be greed, baby. Be greed. Don't help poor people, baby. Don't help poor people.

    October 12, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  6. GOPer

    Be more selfish, baby. Be more selfish. Earn more dollars, baby. Earn more dollars.

    October 12, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Bad Idea

    Spill, Baby, Spill!

    October 12, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Flaviss

    I can' believe this past BP debacle has not been a galvanizing event that unequivocably stops all drilling. Certainly we should expect at the minimum to not allow any new drilling in the future. The amount of oil that is generated by our offshore drilling is a drop in the bucket compared to our overall use and not nearly worth the cost as has been shown recently.

    I understand that this is big business and would effect a lot of people negatively in a financial manner, but the risks are too great and people can be retrained or get new jobs. The ecosystem can not so easily be repaired and impact a lot more people financially than the ones drilling oil.

    Businesses, the government, and the people who do not speak out against this should be ashamed and are severely short sighted.

    October 12, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  9. GOPer

    More tax cuts, baby. More tax cuts. Donate fewer pennies to charity, baby. Donate fewer pennies.

    October 12, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  10. TLL

    How about california doing their part and start producing energy. The taxes they would reep would more than offset their huge financial fiasco. If they choose not to participate raise their rates!! These stupid "environmentalists" really love to hate energy companies, but they won't stop driving their cars and turning on their lights at home.

    October 12, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steven P

      TLL wrote: "How about california doing their part and start producing energy. The taxes they would reep would more than offset their huge financial fiasco. If they choose not to participate raise their rates!! These stupid "environmentalists" really love to hate energy companies, but they won't stop driving their cars and turning on their lights at home."

      And to stop having children.

      October 12, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Steven P

    I guess Mr. Obama needs to throw a bone to the expanding Chinese drilling concerns in the Gulf.

    October 12, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  12. GOPer

    More wasteful spending, more spending, keep mu free money coming in..

    October 12, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Billy M. from MI

    Attention please! Republicans will now change their slogan from "Obama doesn't care about jobs" to "Obama doesn't care about the environment". This change will commence immediately following Glenn Beck's show.

    October 12, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  14. lork

    It's obvious that Obama want's to add to his poor employment numbers, the sooner the better ... plain and simple.

    October 12, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jake Bower

    Obama has lost the trust of the American people, industry that create jobs for the American people, and the Congress. When he had the majority he did not listen or compromise with the public’s representatives. His constant bashing of American industry to garner populist support was immature and non-presidential. He promoted the paranoia of the evil empire of Big Business, Big Oil, Big Banks, Bad Republicans and the Old Rich White Man to the expense of the nation. He basically cast uncertainty and fear into the workplace. This uncertainty and fear is the main reason we are having economic problems and may have more. Remember, we are all big oil if you drive a car, fly a plane, use anything plastic and so on for the other monickers. He used a sweet tongue in a fortunate climate for himself to become President. He has this now to his credit, the First Black President, its just that it is not to your credit. Because you did not get a leader, just an arrogant individual with a socialist undercurrent.

    October 12, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • joe

      You are an idiot. If anything Obama gave far too much ear time to the useless Republicans

      October 12, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • scottish mama

      Jake you haven't a clue. You are in error with your findings. He is for the working people. It is the big business, Big oil, and Big Banks making it hard and not hiring, not lending, not investing to make us tank. Its their money that they don't want to give up and are stunting the economy. We need more small business' to work to keep things in the USA. Its the Wally worlds putting the manufacturers out of business. Everything they buy is cheaply made in other countries where its own people make nothing. The wally worlds put the mom and pop business' on the skids, because they buy in bulk. Support local farmers and local owned businesses.

      October 13, 2010 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
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