Another Nail in the Coffin of Offshore Drilling Safety Reform

Earmarks were not the only government spending plans that died when Harry Reid pulled the Senate omnibus spending bill this week.  So, too, did fees and rule improvements that would have helped the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the revamped agency overseeing offshore drilling safety, fund increased inspections and reviews.  The omnibus bill contained $51 million of increased budget to fund inspections of offshore platforms and rigs, as well as increasing the statutory time limit for permit review from 30 to 90 days.  The 30 day limit on government review was a key factor in the MMS’s poor oversight of offshore drilling permits, allowing operators to file environmental studies that included protecting walruses, which don’t live in the Gulf of Mexico.  The stop gap funding bill that will follow to keep the federal government limping along for another few months more will not contain these badly needed reforms.  After the new congress convenes in January, with resurgent Republicans controlling the House, these key improvements will die a quiet death.

The oil and gas industry, with collusion of the politicians on their payroll, have now successfully killed almost every proposed reform that could help prevent or at least limit the damage from another offshore blowout.  Politicians have known for decades that the best way to kill reform is to de-fund it.  They have done it to environmental reform, education and labor protections, and are threatening to do it to healthcare reform.  They’ve now successfully done it to offshore drilling reform.  In the meantime, oil, which the government would have us believe magically disappeared from the water last summer, continues to wash up on Gulf of Mexico shore lines.  This video is of a huge submerged tar mat that washed up on Orange Beach, Alabama on December 3.  Two weeks ago. News

It’s now a virtual certainty that we’ll have to suffer another one of these catastrophes before we will have any prayer for any material safety and environmental reform.  The industry has successfully bought their way out of increased safety requirements, and our elected leaders have once again neglected their constitutional duty to protect and defend the United States and its citizens.


  1. WindorSolarPlease says

    Not good…Have they not learned?…Do they want another tragedy?
    Scares me that Greed, Ego, Corruption has probably taken the place of protecting and defending it’s Citizens, the Future of our Kids, and this Country.

  2. lomamonster says

    The Supreme Court has forever doomed the electoral process in this country to the extent that there will be no candidates impervious to being bought out over time. Those who hold out will be summarily dismissed and isolated. The truth will vanish from media just as quickly from the influx of massive funds targeting specific corporate goals, and voters will be left with nothing but knee jerk rage with which to judge their positions in the polls.
    Compromise has already reached “the dirty word” level, so what’s next? Anger, fear, and more anger. Governance will occur when one side achieves an superior position of blackmail which cannot be denied, and the public will rotate in and out of being held hostage in each situation.
    That is what the future portends.

  3. lomamonster says

    The green movement is presently under attack from the religious right and the propaganda is calling preservation of the Earth an abomination against Jesus.
    Why must these wackos be? They protest that Jesus would be in favor of Man vs Earth, and that the rape of the planet is ordained…

  4. WindorSolarPlease says

    Hi Lomamonster,
    It is our responsibility to care for this place.
    It is Not ok to damage this earth.
    We are not here so we can damage it, and this place is not here for us to damage it.
    God is never changing, what he said to Adam
    still holds true today.
    In King James Bible Genesis chapter 2 verse 15
    It says:
    15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
    Genesis 1:28
    28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

  5. WindorSolarPlease says

    Hi Lomamonster
    I think everyone has some great points in here, and I like reading what people think/believe.
    I’m glad that you pointed out what some others might believe. It gave me a chance to say that I disagree with their believes.
    We might not change the world in this forum, but maybe we will get the attention of someone who has the power to do good.

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