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The administration of US President Donald Trump weakened safety rules for drilling in open water created after the oil spill from the Deepwater Horizon platform in 2010, local media are now broadcasting.
According to USA Today, Republican executive president announced Thursday the dismantling of certain measures taken during the Obama administration (2009-2017) in response to the worst oil disaster offshore registered in the country ‘s history.
Rules Revised follow the administration’s efforts to expand oil and gas drilling on the nation’s coasts, despite judicial challenges and the rejection of state leaders, the paper said.
According to the newspaper, officials estimate that changes in regulations will save the oil industry more than 1.5 billion dollars in the next 10 years.
But environmentalists said loosening safety standards at offshore wells makes another oil spill such as the one involving the Deepwater Horizon, run by the British company BP, more likely.
The reversals of several existing rules, which will be applied within 60 days, are a great victory for the oil and gas industry, which has criticized Obama’s measures as too expensive and difficult to meet.
However, supporters of those regulations say they help prevent a repeat of the accident that killed 11 workers and dropped more than 200 million gallons of oil into the sea nine years ago.
The Office of Environmental Safety and Control of the Department of the Interior (BSEE) acknowledged that “a great majority of the approximately 118 thousand comments” issued on its digital platform on this subject reflected significant concerns regarding the proposed modifications.
Despite these criteria, the entity defended the changes as a way to get rid of onerous rules that, according to him, would not have made the platforms safer; But he also pointed out that the step responds to the concerns of the hydrocarbons industry about the costs of the regulations.
For example, the BSEE said it will allow companies to perform explosion prevention tests less frequently due to industry complaints about the cost of such examinations.
Environmental groups are studying the rules and looking for flaws that can be challenged by lawsuits, attorney Chris Eaton of the organization Earthjustice told the digital portal Politico.