The Trump administration is to overhaul rules on offshore drilling operations which were brought in to improve safety in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010.
Environmental groups have condemned the move, describing it as ‘reckless’.
The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) is to overhaul two rules enacted in the wake of the spill, the worst in American history.
The agency has drafted changes to two regulations, which oil industry operatives say inhibited offshore operations.
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The Deepwater Horizon spill saw 200 million gallons of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico, killing millions of marine animals such as dolphins and sea turtles.
BSEE Director Scott Angelle said in a statement ‘t’s time for a paradigm shift.
‘There was an assumption made previously that only more rules would increase safety, but ultimately it is not an either/or proposition.
‘We can actually increase domestic energy production and increase safety and environmental protection.’
Marcie Keever, director of Friends of the Earth’s Oceans and Vessels Program, said, ‘Climate science is clear that the remaining untapped fossil fuel reserves must be kept ‘in the ground’ if we are to have any chance of leaving a stable climate for future generations.
‘The reckless move by the Trump administration to pursue increased offshore oil drilling is an appalling attack on our already imperiled communities, both marine and terrestrial.’