washingtonpost.comThe Interior Department exempted BP's calamitous Gulf of Mexico drilling operation from a detailed environmental impact analysis last year, according to government documents, after three reviews of the area concluded that a massive oil spill was unlikely.
The decision by the department's Minerals Management Service (MMS) to give BP's lease at Deepwater Horizon a "categorical exclusion" from the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) on April 6, 2009 -- and BP's lobbying efforts just 11 days before the explosion to expand those exemptions -- show that neither federal regulators nor the company anticipated an accident of the scale of the one unfolding in the gulf.
Sounds like someone's got some "splaining" to do. I am 100% for drilling in our offshore waters, but precautions have to be taken. Plans have to be in place to deal with disastrous spills, even if they are highly unlikely.
First we find out that booms to collect the oil for burning were nowhere to be found, despite a plan to use them in case of a spill that was written in 1994, now this. The Feds had to go to the boom manufacturer, who had only one available. They then had to beg other countries for some.
This exemption granted last year is all on the Obama administration, so they can't blame it on Bush.