Trump Admin Proposes Rollbacks To Offshore Drilling Safety Measures

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Obama-era safety measures inspired by the Deepwater Horizon spill are seen as burdensome by the Trump administration.

The Trump administration is looking to nix regulations put in place after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill - safety measures that the industry says are too burdensome. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement estimates the roll back could save the oil industry $900 million over the next decade.

Among the changes, the proposed rule would relax requirements to stream real-time data on oil-production operations to facilities onshore, where they currently are available for review by regulators. It also would strike a provision requiring that third-party inspectors of critical equipment—like the blowout preventer that failed in the Deepwater Horizon case—be certified by BSEE.

Head of the BSEE, Scott Angelle, said earlier this year that the Obama administration's response to the Deepwater Horizon spill - the largest spill in U.S. history, flooding the Gulf of Mexico with over 200 million gallons of oil and costing 11 American lives - was too broad and would be reviewed.

The result is what Mr. Angelle—a longtime advocate for the Gulf Coast oil industry—and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke promised in taking office this year: a pendulum swing back from the government’s response to Deepwater Horizon in allowing industry, not regulators, more say on what constitutes safe operation in U.S. waters.