May 2, 2019 - Energy & Environment

Trump administration rolls back offshore drilling safety rules

In this image, two men walk on a beach and clean tarballs.

Workers clean tarballs from the BP oil spill on Waveland beach Dec. 6, 2010, in Waveland, Mississippi. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The Interior Department announced a rollback on an Obama-era offshore drilling safety rule put in place after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon BP oil spil, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The big picture, via Axios' Amy Harder: This is one of the most controversial regulatory rollbacks pursued by the Trump administration, due to the high-profile disaster that is still America's worst oil spill. 11 workers died in the BP incident, and oil spilled into the gulf from a ruptured well for nearly three months before it was capped. 

Details: "The rule imposed tougher standards on equipment designed to keep control of a well," which involves blowout preventers that measure "the amount of pressure drillers must maintain to avoid accidents," WSJ notes.

  • These changes "could save the oil industry up to $1.5 billion over a decade, according to department officials."

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