Gulf Oil Crisis Part 2, Minerals Management Service, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Warnings ignored, April 1, 2010 announcement, Federal oil and gas lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico, Water depths more than 10975 feet
Gulf Oil Crisis Part 2, Minerals Management Service, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Warnings ignored
From Citizen News, June 19, 2010.
The Washington Post has presented a scathing article of what went wrong at Minerals Management Service.
“U.S. oil drilling regulator ignored experts’ red flags on environmental risks”
“The federal agency responsible for regulating U.S. offshore oil drilling repeatedly ignored warnings from government scientists about environmental risks in its push to approve energy exploration activities quickly, according to numerous documents and interviews.
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 Mammal Protection Act and the National Environmental Policy Act, say those who have worked with the MMS, which is part of the Interior Department.”
“MMS said in a May 2000 draft environmental analysis of deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico that “the oil industry’s experience base in deep-water well
control is limited” and that a massive spill “could easily turn out to be a potential showstopper for the [Outer Continental Shelf] program if the industry
and MMS do not come together as a whole to prevent such an incident.”
But when the MMS finalized the document that month, it jettisoned those two statements and concluded that there was no need to prepare an environmental
impact analysis for deep-water drilling: “Most deep-water operations and activities are substantially the same as those associated with conventional
operations and activities on the continental shelf.””
On April 1, 2010 we learned the following from Ken Salazar and the US Interior Department.
“NEW ORLEANS, LA – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced that the next federal oil and gas lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico will occur in New Orleans on August 18, 2010. The Secretary made the Western Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 215 announcement during a tour of Superior Energy Services.”
“The available blocks in Sale 215 are located from 9 to about 250 miles offshore in water depths of 16 to more than 10,975 feet (5 to 3,346 meters). The Department of the Interior’s Minerals Management Service (MMS) estimates the proposed lease sale could result in the production of 242 to 423 million barrels of oil and 1.64 to 2.64 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.”
Did you notice this statement?
“The available blocks in Sale 215 are located from 9 to about 250 miles offshore in water depths of 16 to more than 10,975 feet”
10, 975 feet is twice the depth of the current drilling disaster.
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