BP Gets An Anniversary Gift From The Obama Administration
April 20 is the fourth anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon explosion, which killed 11 employees and dumped over four.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico over coal and petroleum reserves in india a 3 month period in 2010.
You would not think that the London-primarily based firm that spilled the oil would get an anniversary reward from the federal government. However the Environmental Safety Company has simply given BP a giant one. The EPA dominated that the corporation might start bidding on profitable new oil leases within the Gulf of Mexico after having been suspended from doing any new enterprise with the government ever for the reason that accident.
That suspension was lifted on March thirteen, lower than a week before the yearly authorities auction for drilling rights. The company whose negligence was liable for the worst marine oil-spill in history won 43 new leases in the Gulf, which is still fouled by million of gallons of unrecovered crude.
The Deepwater Horizon disaster was not the primary time that BP was discovered culpable in a major accident. In 2005 the corporate was deemed criminally liable for a refinery explosion in Texas City which killed 15 folks. Yet again in 2006, a Justice Department investigation found that BP had willfully ignored evidence of serious corrosion in its pipeline, which led in Alaska to the largest oil spill ever in the Arctic.
BP’s critics say this was not only a run of dangerous luck, however the results of an ingrained company tradition which routinely put profits above security. In an interview, Tyson Slocum of the public curiosity group Public Citizen mentioned: “If strange persons are discovered responsible in three felony instances, they will be imprisoned– suspension from contracts is a form of corporate imprisonment.”
Nevertheless, underneath intense stress from BP, which filed a lawsuit challenging the contract ban, and the British authorities, which filed a quick within the case criticizing the US for its action, coal and petroleum reserves in india the company was simply granted a get-out-of-jail-free card by the Obama administration.
Perhaps not coincidentally, Richard Pelletier, the pinnacle of the EPA suspension and debarment office which ordered the original ban in opposition to the oil large, “retired” just days after the administration caved to BP’s demand to end their 5-12 months criminal probation period early.
After the Gulf oil spill, there were calls within the environmental group and in Congress to reform the outdated regulatory system. “The last time that rules for offshore drilling had been written,” says Slocum “was 1978. Deepwater wells, just like the Deepwater Horizon had been introduced in 1994. So what you’ve bought is laws for the typewriter age making use of to IPhones.”
In the aftermath of the catastrophe, Congress handed a invoice within the summer of 2010 which called for a complete reorganization of the Offshore Oil Company, and for harder new environmental requirements. But, beneath stress from the American Petroleum Institute, that invoice died in the Senate.
The Obama administration then took matters into its own hands calling for a short lived moratorium on drilling. By executive decree, the president reintroduced a lot of the same guidelines that had been included within the in poor health-fated invoice. These rules, nevertheless, do not have the force of law and could be reversed by future administrations.
Remember, all of us watched in horror over a interval of two and a half months how certainly one of the biggest and most profitable multinationals on the planet with some of the neatest engineers on the planet had absolutely no thought the best way to cap that properly… We nonetheless would not have clear certification that any driller — whether or not they be BP or Exxon or Shell — has the best tools and the proven technology to cease a deepwater blowout.
Slocum says drillers have to be required by legislation to have tools available to drill a relief nicely in case of a future blowout. And we additionally must require corporations to totally test upfront crucial tools– like the faulty blowout protector which malfunctioned to cause the Deepwater Horizon accident.
However, we’re unlikely to get these vital regulations anytime soon. The American Petroleum Institute has mentioned that they are going to oppose any efforts to impose new laws on offshore drilling. One of many wealthiest and most powerful lobbies in Washington, the API typically gets what it asks for.