Serious Concerns About Offshore Enforcement

 
Gas Rig

After the BP disaster, the federal government made a lot of promises to Gulf residents – promises about ensuring safety compliance from the oil & gas industry and prioritizing environmental protection. Unfortunately, five years later, the federal agency in charge of monitoring the industry is shirking its commitment to the people of the Gulf.

Although the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement‘s (BSEE) website says they work “to promote safety, protect the environment, and conserve resources offshore through vigorous regulatory oversight and enforcement,” the agency’s employees have been prevented from meeting that mission. As revealed in a recent story by David Hammer / Eyewitness Investigates, BSEE has failed to hire enough staff to do the work needed to effectively oversee the industry despite having the money to do so. Without timely investigation and enforcement, safety and pollution issues are not addressed, and the oil and gas industry is able to cut corners on safety and environmental compliance. This lack of oversight allows the possibility of another disaster. 

Furthermore, Congress has been no better at keeping promises to ensure that industry is held to the highest possible safety standards.  In fact, members of Congress are complaining about newly proposed safety regulations on blow-out preventing devices. Even as the oil and gas industry moves into deeper and deeper waters that raise the risks of environmental catastrophe, legislators are trying to shield these companies from making much needed investments in safety and accident prevention technology.

After the BP disaster, Congress assured residents of the Gulf that we would never see another disaster of that magnitude. Part of that promise was the creation of a fully staffed, independent agency focused on ensuring that the industry was held to high safety and environmental protection standards.  Instead, they have returned to business as usual – industry development, not safety and environmental protection, is the priority. If decision-makers aren’t willing to keep their promises to the Gulf, why should residents of other coasts facing development trust their promises?   Until the federal government can get it right in the Gulf, we should not put other coasts at risk. 

Cyn Sarthou is GRN's Executive Director. 

Recent Posts

As with all who are following the devastation from Hurricane Michael, I’m shocked and saddened...
Written by Christian Wagley
Wednesday, 17 October 2018
Many Americans have never heard of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), despite the...
Written by Raleigh Hoke
Friday, 12 October 2018
The comment period closed September 6th on the “One Lake” project’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement...
Written by Andrew Whitehurst
Tuesday, 09 October 2018
Last month, the federal government filed new reports suggesting that the Taylor Energy oil leak,...
Written by Raleigh Hoke
Thursday, 04 October 2018
Gulf Restoration Network has begun a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiative that will inform...
Written by Andrew Whitehurst
Wednesday, 26 September 2018
1985 seems like a long time ago. For those who care about clean water—which is...
Written by Christian Wagley
Monday, 24 September 2018
The Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA)’s “Coastal Connections on the Water” event in...
Written by Kendall Dix
Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Latest Actions

SHARE THIS PAGE