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Entries in Oil Spill Commission (2)

Tuesday
Jan112011

Commission on BP Spill Calls for Tougher Regulations

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A "fundamental reform" of the oil industry and government regulations is needed to ensure that another incident like the BP oil spill doesn't occur, according to the president's National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

In a report released Tuesday, the commission attributed the causes of the largest oil spill in U.S. history to a "culture of complacency," leading to human errors, engineering mistakes and mismanagement by BP, Halliburton and Transocean as well as a lack of stringent offshore drilling regulation.

The commission recommended the creation of a safety agency within the Department of Interior that would oversee all aspects of offshore drilling and bring regulation of the industry in line with the 21st century.

Funding for this agency would come from fees attached to the leases for offshore drilling in public waters. The commission called on Congress to boost funding and training for the Department of Interior to ensure that appropriate and serious oversight is exercised.

The commission also proposed the creation of a safety institute led by leaders in the oil industry to ensure best standards and practices are carried out; raising the current liability cap of $75 million for offshore drilling accidents; and the allocation of 80 percent of the funds collected from the BP oil spill to restoration efforts in the Gulf of Mexico.

The seven-member panel unanimously approved the 15 recommendations included in the report. Many of the recommendations will require action by Congress, but the administration may also implement some of the recommendations through executive order.

Members of the commission, including co-chairs former Sen. Bob Graham and William Reilly, former head of the Environmental Protection Agency, will testify before Congress on January 26.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct072010

NOAA Administrator 'Sets the Record Straight' to Oil Spill Commission

Photo Courtesy - NOAA dot gov(WASHINGTON) -- The administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration wrote to the chairs of the Oil Spill Commission Thursday to "alert" them to a "mischaracterization" of a NOAA document in a commission staff working paper, the release of which Wednesday subjected the White House to much criticism of its response to the oil spill.

NOAA Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco said she wanted to "set the record straight" regarding the description in the paper that: "The Commission staff has also been advised that, in late April or early May 2010, NOAA wanted to make public some of its long-term, worst-case discharge models for the Deepwater Horizon spill, and requested approval to do so from the White House’s Office of Management and Budget.  Staff was told that the Office of Management and Budget denied NOAA’s request."

Lubchenco said that NOAA "wanted to share the outcome of these models with the public, and so prepared a short description of the models and outcomes and submitted the document through OMB's interagency clearance process."  OMB required more work, though.  "Contrary to suggestions in the Draft Staff Working Paper, the document was cleared and released to the public."‬

In addition, asserted Lubchenco, the paper in question was studying long-term movement of the oil, not flow rate.  And though the draft paper "suggests that the early low flow rate estimates might have hampered the federal response,” she said, “[t]his was not the case.  Two goals of the worst-case scenario modeling were to inform the Unified Command's understanding about possible scenarios and aid the response effort, both of which happened.”‬

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio