After only 18 months, BP to begin drilling again in the Gulf
By Madison Ruppert
Editor of End the Lie
British Petroleum has gained approval to resume their deep sea drilling operations in the Gulf of Mexico, only 18 months after the massive blowout.
The Deepwater Horizon explosion killed 11 workers and released roughly five million barrels of oil into the Gulf which is still negatively impacting the wildlife which eventually makes its way onto the American dinner table.
As I recently reported, a peer-reviewed study revealed that the FDA allowed seafood contaminated with dangerous levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) to be sold to consumers, putting pregnant women and children at elevated risk for cancer, birth defects, neurological impacts, and liver toxicity.
Now regulators have given BP the green light to once again begin their deep water drilling with US officials saying in a statement, “Our review of BP’s plan included verification of BP’s compliance with the heightened standards.”
However, anyone remotely familiar with government regulators’ relationships with the corporations they are supposed to regulate would know that their review was likely lackluster, at best.
BP’s plans involve drilling at a water depth of about 6,000 feet around 200 miles off of the coast of New Orleans, Louisiana, according to the BBC. Deepwater Horizon drilled in 5,860 feet of water to a total depth of roughly 32,500 feet.
This area of the Gulf of Mexico contains the Kaskida oil field which contains an estimated 3 billion barrels of crude oil.
The field is operated by BP and jointly-owned by BP, holding 70%, and Devon Energy, holding 30%.
The approval of the BP plan includes up to four exploratory wells and according to the official Bureau of Ocean Energy Management statement, BP has carried out “additional safety enhancements and performance standards” for oil and gas exploration in the Gulf.
BP is also going to be allowed to bid on newly available oil leases in the Gulf of Mexico during the first lease auction held since the disaster this coming December.
The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement will have to approve new permits before BP can actually drill the new wells.
While BP has not commented on the government’s latest decision, a statement said that BP is “working through the regulatory process” and that their standards “exceed current government requirements” according to the New York Times.
The Senior Democrat from Massachusetts sitting on the House Natural Resources Committee, Edward J. Markey, has been openly critical of the decision saying, “Comprehensive safety legislation hasn’t passed Congress, and BP hasn’t paid the fines they owe for their spill, yet BP is being given back the keys to drill in the gulf”.
Why is BP being allowed to resume their operations without even paying back the damages (which are likely far short of the real damages to the environment, economy, and health of the American people) they have already incurred?
As Markey points out, the comprehensive safety legislation hasn’t even passed Congress so BP’s claim to be exceeding government safety requirements doesn’t mean much at all.