Trump Administration Moves To Weaken Offshore Safety Rules Prompted By 2010 Spill

The Trump administration moved on Thursday to eliminate key offshore safety regulations adopted in the wake of the deadly Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the biggest in the nation’s history.

The move to cut the safety regulations came just hours before President Donald Trumpsaid in a tweet that “we could use a little bit of that good old global warming” to counteract winter temperatures.

Dropping the rules is intended to “reduce certain unnecessary regulatory burdens,” stated the document outlining the changes by the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.

Some of the proposals for relaxing the regulations were released Thursday by the BSEE, which estimates it would save companies $288 million over 10 years.

“I am confident that this revision of the Production Safety Systems Rule moves us forward toward meeting the administration’s goal of achieving energy dominance without sacrificing safety,” BSEE Director Scott Angelle said in a statement.

Changes involve loosened rules for safety and pollution prevention equipment, undersea safety devices and device testing, according to BSEE’s statement. Among the most significant of the proposed changes is dropping a requirement that safety and pollution prevention equipment be inspected by certified independent auditors.

The safety measures were adopted by the Obama administration in 2016 following an analysis of what went wrong in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster when a well blew up in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers and spewing 200 million gallons of oil. The spill killed countless marine animals and exposed Gulf Coast residents to toxins. Serious environmental damage continues to this day.

Trump ordered Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review the safety rules in April.

Environmentalists blasted the proposed changes.

Miyoko Sakashita, director of the oceans program at the Center for Biological Diversity, called the changes “willful ignorance.” By…

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