It turns out, by the way, that oil rigs today generally don’t cause spills. They are technologically very advanced. Even during Katrina, the spills didn’t come from the oil rigs, they came from the refineries onshore.
"For too long, for a decade or more, there has been a cozy relationship between the oil companies and the federal agency that permits them to drill. It seems as if permits were too often issued based on little more than assurances of safety from the oil companies. That cannot and will not happen anymore.
Now, from the day he took office as Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar has recognized these problems and he's worked to solve them. Often times he has been slammed by the industry, suggesting that somehow these necessary reforms would impede economic growth. Well, as I just told Ken, we are going to keep on going to do what needs to be done.
Just last year BP—who now likes to say BP stands for “Beyond Petroleum,” not British Petroleum—told the government that an oil spill like the one wreaking havoc in the Gulf was highly unlikely, so they didn’t need to install the remote controlled valves that could prevent an uncontrolled blowout.
Obama’s Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar, was so taken-in by these false safety claims that his agency allowed BP’s offshore drilling plan to be “categorically excluded” from the required environmental impact review. Kierán Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity, said, “Instead of protecting the public interest by conducting environmental reviews, Salazar’s agency rubber stamped BP’s drilling plan, just as it does hundreds of others every year in the Gulf of Mexico.
Since the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig exploded on April 20, the Obama administration has granted oil and gas companies at least 27 exemptions from doing in-depth environmental studies of oil exploration and production in the Gulf of Mexico.
The waivers were granted despite President Barack Obama’s vow that his administration would launch a “relentless response effort” to stop the leak and prevent more damage to the gulf. One of them was dated Friday — the day after Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said he was temporarily halting offshore drilling