WASHINGTON D.C. – A year and a half after the devastating Deepwater Horizon oil spill that spewed over 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, the Obama administration is set to allow BP to resume exploratory drilling in the Gulf of Mexico but without any changes to the laws that hold companies responsible for the economic damages that such spills cause, according to the Huffington Post.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced on Friday, Oct 21, that BP could proceed with plans to drill four exploratory wells roughly 200 miles from the Louisiana coast.
“We continue to support the removal of caps on liability for oil companies engaged in offshore drilling, and encourage Congress to take action on this important reform,” White House spokesman Clark Stevens told the Huffington Post at the time.
Huffington Post reports:
Government officials said Friday that BP had proved its “compliance with the heightened standards that all deepwater activities must meet.” An Obama administration official noted that 43 oil drilling plans in the Gulf had already been approved and that this was the first approval specifically for BP. In each case, the official noted, the company had to pass environmental and safety tests including “the ability to demonstrate containment” of a spill.
In other words: BP had to show that there wouldn’t be a repeat of the spill that lasted for three months and saw an estimated 4.9 million barrels let in to the Gulf of Mexico.
Louisiana maritime lawyer