offshore drilling

Coastal Communities Demand EPA Update Decades-Old Oil Spill Regulations

Written in Collaboration with Camila Gonzalez*

Coastal communities are bracing themselves. Thirty years after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, and almost nine years after the BP Deepwater Horizon rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, they are facing the threat of another catastrophic oil spill. The Trump Administration is paving the way. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will …

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BP Spill + 4

Four years ago, the BP Deepwater Horizon was still gushing oil.  The well was finally capped in mid- July.  There’s been a lot of legal action since then, but it’s hard to keep track of all the piecemeal developments.  Here’s quick rundown. The Presidential Commission investigating the spill identified the “root causes” as management failures by industry and …

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More Oil and Coal, Less Nature and Clean Air

USA Today reports on a speech Perry is set to deliver about energy issues.  It’s a humdinger.  Here are the main points: •Open federal lands to more energy exploration and production, including ANWAR and lands in the Mountain West – but not the Everglades, a tribute to Florida as a primary state. More offshore drilling …

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Add these to your reading list

Here’s some summer reading for environmental law and policy nerds. Okay, it’s not exactly beach material, but it will keep you up to date on some important issues. Elizabeth L. Bennett, Another Inconvenient Truth: The Failure of Enforcement Systems to Save Charismatic Species, Oryx  (subscription required). Dr. Bennett, of the Wildlife Conservation Society, argues that …

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Judge Feldman is still mad

Cross-posted at CPRBlog. You may remember Judge Martin Feldman from his decisions last summer enjoining enforcement of Interior’s first effort at a deepwater drilling moratorium, and more recently declaring that the Department must pay the legal fees of the plaintiffs in that case because it was in contempt of the injunction order. (For my take …

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Is this any way to run a democracy?

It isn’t exactly news that the U.S. Senate is an anti-majoritarian institution. The filibuster, which effectively allows 41 Senators to block action, gets a lot of attention. But much worse is the “hold,” which lets a single senator stand in the way of a bill or nomination. According to the Senate’s glossary, a hold is …

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What we’re reading, oceans edition

Cross-posted at CPR Blog. Here’s some of what’s going on in the ocean policy world: BOEMRE is reviewing the first post-moratorium application to drill an exploratory deepwater well in the Gulf of Mexico. As required by a June Notice to Lessees, Shell’s application to drill 130 miles from shore in 2000 to 2900 feet of …

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Contempt? Not by Interior

Cross-posted at CPRBlog. Conservative media and bloggers are making much of a ruling last week by Judge Martin Feldman of the Eastern District of Louisiana that the Department of Interior was in contempt of his June 2010 order enjoining enforcement of the May moratorium on new deepwater exploratory drilling for oil. The Washington Times, for …

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Legislative response to the Deepwater Horizon disaster

What’s happening in Congress since the Deepwater Horizon tragedy and the gusher that followed? There have been a lot of hearings, and a lot of bills introduced. Several are moving ahead. One has become law, one has been passed by the full House, and two have been reported out of Senate committees. 1) Both houses …

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Not So Good At Safety But Great Lobbyists

It’s no surprise that the petroleum industry has political heft, but the number (courtesy of the Times) are impressive: The oil and gas industry is a formidable presence in Washington. It spent more on federal lobbying last year than all but two other industries, with $174.8 million in lobbying expenditures, according to the Center for …

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