The Trump administration is cutting Obama-era regulations on offshore drilling that are worth $288 million over a decade, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) announced Thursday.
Former President Barack Obama put the rules in place after six years of study into the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The spill, caused by a natural gas leak that led to an explosion, released millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
“I am confident that this revision of the Production Safety Systems Rule moves us forward toward meeting the Administration’s goal of achieving energy dominance without sacrificing safety,” BSEE Director Scott Angelle said in a statement. “By reducing the regulatory burden on industry, we are encouraging increased domestic oil and gas production while maintaining a high bar for safety and environmental sustainability.”
Environmentalists were immediately critical of the move.
“By tossing aside the lessons from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Trump is putting our coasts and wildlife at risk of more deadly oil spills,” Center for Biological Diversity oceans program director Miyoko Sakashita said, according to Bloomberg. “Reversing offshore safety rules isn’t just deregulation, it’s willful ignorance.”
President Donald Trump ordered a review of the rules in April. Oil companies said the regulations were costly and redundant. When signing the order, Trump said the U.S. should be taking advantage of its vast natural resources to create “potentially thousands and thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in wealth.”
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