Entries in Gulf of Mexico (1)


Louisiana Rep. Richmond: Let BP Drill Again in the Gulf

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Word that BP is seeking to resume drilling in the Gulf of Mexico presents a challenge for the Obama administration, which is seeking to increase domestic oil production even as the Justice Department mulls possible criminal charges against the company in connection with an accident investigation that’s still ongoing.

But on Rep. Cedric Richmond -- a Democrat who represents New Orleans in Congress -- tells ABC News it’s important not to “penalize BP for the incident” by denying the company the right to drill, provided the company goes through the proper permitting process.”

“They should be able to drill, as long as they follow the same rules that everybody else is following,” Richmond, D-La., said. “We don't want to penalize BP for the incident. We want them to, of course, make citizens whole that were affected, and we'll never forget that we lost 11 lives in that incident.

“So we don't want a repeat of it, which is why the permitting process has been revamped and they're making sure that the safeguards are in place so we don't have another Horizon accident. … If BP can make it through that then I think they should be allowed to drill.”

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on Monday denied reports in the British press that BP has already reached a deal with the U.S. government to resume drilling. But he made clear that BP will be allowed to resume operations in the Gulf if and when the company shows that it will be able to comply with new regulations.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio