Blowout Preventers Still Unsafe, Federal Action Ineffective Group Says

Dolphins ride boat's wake off Mississippi, May 2010 (by NWF's Jeremy Symons)
Dolphins, sea turtles and many bird species are at great risk from offshore gulf drilling.

After the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the federal government issued new rules to improve offshore drilling safety. Problem solved, right? Not according to the Offshore Safety Report, issued by Oceana at the Society of Environmental Journalists meeting in Miami this week.

“When you compare the [Obama administration’s] new rules to the things that went wrong on the BP rig, it’s obvious that those same problems could go terribly wrong again, in spite of the so-called safety rules,” said Oceana senior campaign director and senior scientist Jacqueline Savitz.

Dr. Savitz goes on to say the rush to build more wells offshore must be stopped.

Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard, Deepwater Horizon response.
In April 2010, the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill released 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard, Deepwater Horizon response).

Blowout preventer problems are just the tip of the iceberg says the new report. The new regulations fail to improve inspections or change bad industry practices for example.

To add insult to injury, the report is issued on the same day that  U.S. regulators give the go ahead to BP for more gulf drilling. More drilling and less safety is clearly not where we thought we’d end up after the BP spill.

What’s the fix? Oceana says that the new flawed and underfunded safety regulations fail to reduce the great risks of offshore drilling and will fail to prevent another expensive spill in U.S. waters.

You can help wildlife in the Gulf to recover and take action to put better safety measures in place. Stay up to date on the Oil Spill with news on the situation in the Gulf.

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Published: October 21, 2011