U.S. agency overseeing oil drilling ignored warnings of risks

Minerals Management Service officials, who can receive cash bonuses in the thousands of dollars based in large part on meeting federal deadlines for leasing offshore oil and gas exploration, frequently changed documents and bypassed legal requirements aimed at protecting the marine environment, the documents show.

This has dramatically weakened the scientific checks on offshore drilling that were established under landmark laws such as the Marine ... Full Story »

Posted by Beth Wellington - via Washington Post , NewsRack (Energy), Slatest
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Posted by: Posted by Beth Wellington - May 24, 2010 - 10:20 AM PDT
Content Type: Article
Edit Lock: This story can be edited
Edited by: Dwight Rousu - May 25, 2010 - 9:05 PM PDT
Beth Wellington
3.8
by Beth Wellington - May. 25, 2010

This report details how in 2006 the MMS scuttled a report on long-term damage of the Valdez (see link) so as to subvert the environmental impact process. The foxes are guarding the hen house in light of the 2005 MMS rule that ""The lessee or operator is in the best position to determine the environmental effects of its proposed activity based on whether the operation is routine or non-routine."

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Jon Mitchell
4.0
by Jon Mitchell - Jun. 11, 2010

Excellent digging into the failure of regulators to heed clear warnings prior to the BP oil spill.

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Dwight Rousu
4.4
by Dwight Rousu - May. 25, 2010

Eilperin looks at the behaviors and cultures within the agencies that are supposed to oversee the environment relative to drilling risks. Informative.

Eight years of having the foxes guard the henhouse has left a house of ill repute to watch the sick chickens.

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Patricia L'Herrou
3.8
by Patricia L'Herrou - May. 25, 2010

the article partially explains why the mms, the liason between oil leases and the companies, have let companies off the hook for environmental studies before letting them drill, including pres. obama's moritorium on some arctic leases. altho the processes began before the obama administration, i'd like to have read a discussion of why the current administration continues some practice: for example,. are pres. bush hirees in the interior dept. still influencing decisions, or is going through all the many many site applications not feasible, or ? .

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