The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
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Trump and Zinke Must Disavow Plans to Re-Create Troubled Offshore Drilling Agency

Statement of Tyson Slocum, Director of Public Citizen’s Energy Program


Today's Bloomberg Newsreport that President Donald Trump and U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke are considering re-creating the ineffectual and corrupt structure of America's offshore oil drilling regulator would be a disaster for environmental and worker safety. Both Trump and Zinke must immediately renounce such an action.

In the years leading up to the April 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon disaster, the offshore oil regulator - the U.S. Minerals Management Service - was plagued with rampant scandals fed by too-cozy relationships with the oil industry. It was for this reason that the independent National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling specifically recommended splitting the agency's safety regulation and oil leasing functions. The Obama administration acted on this and other commission recommendations.

We cannot afford a return to the days when structural failures of agency design allow oil companies to get a free pass. President Trump and Secretary Zinke must immediately and forcefully reject any effort to merge Interior's safety and leasing operations.

Public Citizen is a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization that champions the public interest in the halls of power. We defend democracy, resist corporate power and work to ensure that government works for the people - not for big corporations. Founded in 1971, we now have 500,000 members and supporters throughout the country.

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