Posted April 14, 2011
NOLA.com: Salazar, Bromwich Visit Rig Awarded First Deepwater Permit Under New Drilling Rules: Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and his top regulator, Michael Bromwich, spent about two hours viewing new safety systems on the ENSCO 8501 rig that's working for Noble Energy about 70 miles southeast of Venice. The rig plans to put its drill into the sea floor by the end of the week, to pick up where it left off last April in drilling Noble's Santiago well...On the heels of a disturbing report about design flaws that apparently doomed the blowout preventer at Macondo, Salazar and Bromwich asked tough questions of the ENSCO rig hands, especially during a brief visit to the drilling room, where driller Shad Allen explained how he can trigger various fail-safes in an emergency. But when the trip was over, both government officials said they were impressed with the advancements in safety they saw. "I was impressed with how the testing capabilities are stronger than they were a year ago," Salazar said during the hour-and-a-half helicopter flight back to New Orleans. "We're starting to see a significant change in the culture that holds great promise." The Hill's E2 Wire: House Panel Approves Drilling Bills as GOP Leaders Eye Floor Action in May: A trio of bills sponsored by Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) are moving through that panel Wednesday. The committee approved the first of the bills Wednesday morning, and the other two are likely to pass later in the day. A major provision would set a 30-day deadline for the Interior Department to act on -- though not approve, per se -- offshore drilling permit applications, with two 15-day extensions possible. If Interior doesn't act, a permit is "deemed" approved under the measure..."It's been nearly six months since the Obama Administration officially ended the moratorium on deepwater drilling, and yet thousands of people in the Gulf remain out of work. This bill allows drilling to resume in a safe manner and provides certainty to businesses by implementing firm timelines for the Interior Department to act on permits," Hastings said in a statement after the vote on the first bill.
My San Antonio: Domestic Oil Production Could Solve Energy Woes: We should be expanding and expediting domestic oil production to help increase the supply of fuel and lower prices for consumers. Fully leveraging our vast domestic resources would prevent us from being beholden to foreign regimes for energy when there is instability in oil producing regions of the world. The Gulf of Mexico accounts for 30 percent of total U.S. oil production and 13 percent of total U.S. natural gas production. Unfortunately, bureaucratic barriers have prevented oil and gas producers, and thousands of American workers, from getting back to work in the aftermath of the BP oil spill...The offshore industry's domestic energy production is not only vital to our energy independence -- it is also vital to our economic security. More than 400,000 jobs along the Gulf of Mexico are tied to the oil and gas industry, in 2009 accounting for $70 billion in economic value and providing roughly $20 billion in revenue to federal, state and local governments.
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