Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Gulf Coast Remains ‘The Aorta of the U.S.’ Despite BP Disaster But Obama Administration Needs to Go, Industry Leader Says

By Kevin Mooney
British Petroleum is anxious to start drilling at 10 existing development and production wells in the Gulf of Mexico before the end of the summer. However, officials with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, have told members of the press that no new permit has been issued and environmental organizations have expressed opposition.

Even before the explosion last year the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, BP had a checkered safety record that included accidents in Texas and Alaska. But, its public relations overtures to the now discredited concept of man-made global warming distracted from this long history of transgressions. It is worth recalling that many of the same green groups that now condemn the company provided it with political cover and legitimacy in the news media. This would include the Sierra Club, which has joined with a Justice Department lawsuit filed last December in the District of Court of New Orleans, that would impose fines under the Clean Water Act.

While the antipathy toward BP is understandable, residents and industry officials who depend upon the energy industry in the Gulf Coast are still living with the economic fallout from the spill. Don Briggs, president of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association (LOGA), commented on the Obama Administration's policy agenda during a luncheon in New Orleans.
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