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Comments to Interior on Offshore Oil Well Control Revisions

After the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill, the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) issued regulations designed to improve the safety of offshore drilling operations. Finalized in 2016 after six years of extensive public involvement, these safeguards are now in the process of being rolled back by BSEE.

Our comments to BSEE argue that it should not move forward with its notice of intent to repeal and/or modify the Blowout Preventer Systems and Well Control Rule, because BSEE has not provided a reasoned explanation for weakening and repealing safety requirements that it found necessary in 2016. BSEE must analyze all of the forgone societal benefits from rolling back the finalized safeguards, including safety and environmental risk reduction, time savings, industry cost savings, reduced fatalities, and lower externality costs.