Obama Must Act Now to Reel in Regulators on Drilling

As BP oil spill continues to gush, permits are still flowing for even riskier and deeper wells

05-24-2010 // Miles Grant
Oil rig burning

In his radio address Saturday, President Barack Obama decried the "cozy" relationship between oil companies and the agencies that regulate them. The president also promised that "no permits for drilling new wells will go forward until the 30-day safety and environmental review I requested is complete."

But today, the New York Times reports that "federal regulators have granted at least 19 environmental waivers for gulf drilling projects and at least 17 drilling permits, most of which were for types of work like that on the Deepwater Horizon shortly before it exploded, pouring a ceaseless current of oil into the Gulf of Mexico."

In response to this alarming news, National Wildlife Federation is calling on President Obama to reel in federal regulators in charge of issuing these drilling permits.

We can't stop the oil from flowing from the 5,000-foot BP gusher, but permits are still flowing for even riskier and deeper wells. President Obama must end this insanity and hold the regulators accountable," said Larry Schweiger, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. "President Obama made a commitment and the regulators need to revoke the new deep water well permits that were recently issued. The president should also put the brakes on this summer's plans for exploratory drilling in the Arctic Ocean, where a spill could be even more difficult to contain and clean up.”

There continues to be no end in sight for the BP oil spill disaster, which started pouring oil into the Gulf of Mexico more than a month ago.

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