Obama/Salazar’s Illegal Offshore Permits Exposed

(10PM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)

From the New York Times…

The federal Minerals Management Service gave permission to BP and dozens of other oil companies to drill in the Gulf of Mexico without first getting required permits from another agency that assesses threats to endangered species – and despite strong warnings from that agency about the impact the drilling was likely to have on the gulf.

Those approvals, federal records show, include one for the well drilled by the Deepwater Horizon rig, which exploded on April 20, killing 11 workers and resulting in thousands of barrels of oil spilling into the gulf each day.

Under the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Minerals Management Service (MMS) is required to get permits to allow drilling where it might harm endangered species or marine mammals.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, is responsible for protecting endangered species and marine mammals. It has said on repeated occasions that drilling in the gulf affects these animals, but the minerals agency since January 2009 has approved at least three huge lease sales, 103 seismic blasting projects and 346 drilling plans.

Agency records also show that permission for those projects and plans was granted without getting the permits required under federal law.

And it wasn’t exactly a secret in Washington that Obama/Salazar were allowing BP to risk “catastrophic operator errors” in the Gulf of Mexico.


For example, on March 2, 2010…

Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva today announced that he and other lawmakers have asked the Minerals Management Service (MMS) to thoroughly investigate whether energy conglomerate BP is operating its Atlantis offshore oil platform – the largest in the world – without professionally approved safety documents, and to report its findings to Congress. The platform, located in the Gulf of Mexico, could be the victim of “catastrophic operator errors” if the documents are inaccurate or incomplete, according to BP internal communications.

Grijalva said a long record of previous oil spills highlights the need for continued environmental safeguards, however sophisticated drilling technology becomes. “From the Exxon Valdez spill to last year’s catastrophe in the Timor Sea, we have more vivid evidence than we should ever need that safety cannot be ignored by the oil industry,” he said.

And meanwhile the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration was also warning Obama/Salazar that the Department of the Interior was “dangerously understating the risk and impacts” of a major oil-spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration officials last fall warned the Department of Interior, which regulates offshore oil drilling, that it was dramatically underestimating the frequency of offshore oil spills and was dangerously understating the risk and impacts a major spill would have on coastal residents.

But NOAA’s views were largely brushed aside as Obama went ahead and announced on March 31 that he would open vast swaths of American coastal waters to offshore drilling.  

Obama’s die-hard defenders claim his reckless “drill, baby, drill” expansion of offshore drilling was intended to win over “moderate Republicans” for pending climate legislation, and…

How is that working out for you, Barry?

How many votes did ignoring the catastrophic dangers of offshore drilling buy for you?



Skip to comment form

  1. And meanwhile estimates of how much oil is gushing into the Gulf of Mexico just keep getting worse.

    At NPR’s request, experts analyzed video that BP released Wednesday. Their findings suggest the BP spill is already far larger than the 1989 Exxon Valdez accident in Alaska, which spilled at least 250,000 barrels of oil.

    Steven Wereley, an associate professor at Purdue University, analyzed videotape of the sea-floor gusher using a technique called particle image velocimetry.

    A computer program simply tracks particles, and calculates how fast they are moving. Wereley put the BP video of the gusher into his computer. He made a few simple calculations and came up with an astonishing value for the rate of the oil spill: 70,000 barrels a day – much higher than the official estimate of 5,000 barrels a day.

    The average of estimates by NPR’s three experts is 50,000 barrels per day, and at 42 gallons per barrel, that means…

    More than 2,000,000 barrels of oil per day are gushing into the Gulf of Mexico.

    At this rate, in the 24 days since Deepwater Horizon exploded…

    48,000,000 gallons of oil have poured into the Giulf of Mexico.

  2. to Obama to finance his re-election, he may finally realize that he’s been played for a sucker.

Comments have been disabled.