Interior Dept. loosens offshore-drilling safety rules dating from Deepwater Horizon

Offshore oil drilling rig

CORAL DAVENPORT / NY TIMES – The Trump administration on Thursday made public its rollback of a major offshore-drilling safety regulation, significantly weakening an Obama-era rule that was put in place after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, which killed 11 people and sent 4.9 million barrels of oil gushing into the sea, causing the worst oil spill in American history.

Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, a former oil lobbyist who was confirmed by the Senate last month to head the agency that oversees the nation’s public lands and waters, announced the plan Thursday afternoon in Port Fourchon, La., the vast industrial hub that serves as the onshore base for most companies that drill in the Gulf of Mexico …

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