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August 9th, 2012

Former Government Regulator Warns of Complacency in Offshore Drilling

The former head of the Bureau of Offshore Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement said last week that an increase in “complacency” since the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is threatening the changes in safety regulations and government oversight that resulted from the incident.

Michael Bromwich, speaking at a National Press Club event focused on offshore drilling, said he was “troubled” by how quickly the Deepwater Horizon disaster was fading from people’s memories.

“All of the discussions I hear on Capitol Hill . . . are all about the pace of deep-water drilling and speeding up the application approval process,” Bromwich said.

He also brought up an ongoing investigation by the House Natural Resources Committee into the Obama administration’s editing of a May 2010 report that helped lay the foundation for a moratorium on deep-water drilling. The report, Bromwich said, did not affect the decision to suspend drilling operations while the oil spill continued and the band likely would have been ordered without it.

“There is a substantial unfinished safety agenda, in terms of responding to the oil spill,” Bromwich said. “It’s a shame that they are focusing on things like the two-year-old drilling moratorium and the editing of a document that in fact had no impact on the decisions that were made.”

The maritime attorneys at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers represent workers injured in offshore drilling accidents.

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