No one cares about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill anymore, do they? Come on, that was, like, nine years ago. All I remember is some nonsense about millions of gallons of oil gushing from the depths of Hades for five months. Pfft. Whatevs.
So, naturally, the Trump administration, in its bid to undo everything Obama ever did and make the world a horrible place, is rolling back safety regulations put in place after the worst oil spill in the history of the country. Because Donald Trump loves you — as long as you’re an oil executive and not some shrimp boat captain who was dumb enough to vote Republican.
The Obama-era regulations were finalized in 2016 after six years of development. The stricter rules came in response to the BP disaster, which killed 11 people and spilled at least 4.9 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, devastating coastal communities and destroying wildlife. The rules imposed stricter requirements on equipment, including blowout preventers, among other measures.
The rollback weakens those regulations in addition to allowing third-party companies to inspect equipment, rather than government officials, and would also extend the period between inspections. Moreover, companies are no longer required to alert the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) after “false alarms” associated with production.
Environmental groups and safety advocates have argued that the rules have been critical to protecting workers and the environment. Offshore drilling is one of the most dangerous occupations and groups like the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) have strongly opposed efforts to weaken the regulations.
What could possibly go wrong?
Why don’t we just gut banking regulations while we’re at it? We haven’t had a gruesome, job-killing recession in nearly a decade.
Oh, yeah, we already did that.
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