Offshore Drilling Is Not About To Get Safer

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Support ships are seen near where efforts continue to recover oil and cap the Deepwater Horizon spill site on July 3, 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana.
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In the aftermath of the BP oil spill, there was pretty broad consensus in Washington that offshore drilling safety could use a major overhaul. In the year-plus since, legislation has been proposed and hearings convened; and a presidential commission put out a laundy list of recommendations. But here we are, a year and change later, and Congress hasn't passed a single bill. Nor is it likely to anytime soon, according to an all-star roster of energy experts canvassed by National Journal. Most think any bill beefing up offshore drilling regulations or raising liability limits for companies is a nonstarter – unless coupled with measures to expand drilling, which industry and most Republicans want but most Democrats oppose. And anyway, even if such a deal were possible, new regulations might still be a tough sell politically, since both parties fear doing anything perceived as bumping up the price of oil (i.e. gas at the pump). Which helps explain why, as one respondent puts it, "Both parties seem to have calculated that the perception of doing something is unrelated to enactment of legislation."

The Next Disaster: Why is Obama letting BP drill in the Arctic?

Source

• 'Offshore Drilling Reform Not on the Horizon' [National Journal]