Friday, June 25, 2010

BP Up to its Old Tricks--( and the Government Too?)

Thomas Riggins

So it seems like it is still "Drill Baby Drill" at BP and with its friends in the government. BP is about to start a new ocean drilling project around three miles off the coast of Alaska, even as millions of gallons of oil still are pouring into the Gulf of Mexico. [Cf. "BP Is Pursuing Alaska Drilling Some Call Risky-- NYT 6-24-10].

Obama said he had stopped all new drilling offshore in the Arctic. So why is BP proceeding? It brought out tons of gravel and dumped them in the Beaufort Sea until it built up a 31 acre pile to a depth of around 22 feet, called it an island, and stuck its oil rig on top of it.

So now BP says they are not drilling in water so the rules that should apply to them are those of "on shore" NOT "off shore" drilling. And, Lo and Behold! The federal regulators agreed and gave the rig "on shore" status-- even though it is sitting three miles off shore! And BP has the worst environmental and safety record of any big oil company (they all have horrible records anyway).

BP already has its environmental permits approved by the feds (under Bush) and the state-- the government just accepted BP's own environmental impact statement and did not bother to do their own (how can you not trust BP?).

By the way, this well is an experimental project-- good luck Alaska. Also good luck to the bowhead whales-- the rig sits next to their migration route.

There is hope this madness can be stopped. BP has to file one last paper before it can begin to drill and the Obama administration can withhold permission-- let's hope it does and cancels this monstrosity left over from the Bush regime.

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