Reducing Offshore Drilling Regulations is Shortsighted

The January 2nd Green4Sea article, “US reviews safety rules in offshore drilling industry”, summarized the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s (BSEE) proposed amendments to the Production Safety Systems regulations.

The Deepwater Horizon accident resulted in the loss of 11 lives, extensive and ongoing damage to the marine environment in coastal areas, and a cost to BP of $62 billion.  Regulations were subsequently put into place to prevent such widespread devastation from recurring.  BSEE’s recent proposal to reduce regulation, including third party oversight, is shortsighted to say the least.  The argument that the oil and gas industry will save $22.8 million per year over the next 10 years is not convincing when you look at the risk factors of another offshore pollution event.  This figure is a rounding error for an industry that is very much in the public’s eye; what is the price of environmental and reputational damage, not to mention lives and jobs?  Surely $22.8 million across the group is a drop in the bucket.

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