Latest BP Oil Disaster Report Reinforces Need for Stronger Safety Standards

Report Justifies September Interior Dept. Drilling, Workplace Safety Rules

November 17, 2010
Contact: 

NEWS RELEASE

Contact:
Sean Crowley, 202-550-6524-c, scrowley@edf.org  

(Washington, DC — November 17, 2010) An interim engineering report of preliminary findings about the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico reinforces the need for stronger deepwater drilling safety standards, according to Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).

The numerous technical and operational breakdowns that contributed to the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and spill suggest the lack of a suitable approach for managing the inherent risks, uncertainties, and dangers associated with deepwater drilling operations and a failure to learn from previous "near misses," according to the report from a committee of the National Academy of Engineering and National Research Council.

"This report clearly justifies the new federal rules issued by the Interior Department in September to help improve drilling safety and workplace safety by reducing the risk of human error," said EDF's oil spill response coordinator Elgie Holstein, a former Chief of Staff at the Department of Energy who coauthored a Bipartisan Policy Center report about the deepwater drilling moratorium -- as well as the need for new rules, and a new corporate safety culture -- for the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling.

"Now the Administration must work with the leadership of both parties in Congress to ensure that Clean Water Act penalties which will be assessed to BP for this oil disaster are dedicated to funding Gulf Coast restoration, not simply deposited in the federal treasury," concluded Holstein.

###

Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org), a leading national nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships. For more information, visit www.edf.org/oilspill . Follow us on Twitter at EDF_Louisiana and read our blog at http://blogs.edf.org/restorationandresilience.