The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burns in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. (Gerald Herbert/AP)
The Trump administration has weakened offshore drilling safeguards put in place after a 2010 explosion on the BP Deepwater Horizon oil platform killed 11 workers and triggered the largest ocean spill in U.S. history.
Administration officials said the revised Well Control Rule announced Thursday in Louisiana, not far from the site of the spill, reflects President Trump’s stance on “facilitating energy dominance” by increasing domestic oil and gas production and reducing burdens on the fossil fuel industry.
“Today’s final rule puts safety first, both public and environmental safety, in a common sense way,” Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said in a statement. “Incorporating the best available science, best practices and technological innovations of the past decade, the rule eliminates unnecessary regulatory burdens while maintaining safety and environmental protection offshore.”
Officials at the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, a division of the Interior Department that promulgated the rule, said the changes also will save the offshore oil and gas industry nearly a billion dollars over 10 years.