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Minerals Management Service 12 articles

Oil lobby tries to paint a negative image of federal regulators

Michael Bromwich, the nation’s head oil and gas drilling regulator, lashed out at the oil industry Tuesday for spreading what he calls politically motivated lies and distortions about the federal government’s speed in approving new offshore drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico. “I continue to be disappointed to see politically motivated, erroneous reports and commentaries, sponsored by various industry associations and groups, criticizing the [government] for allegedly ‘slow-walking’ permits and plans,” Michael Bromwich, head of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE), said in a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “That is ... Read More

osha accused of mismanaging whistleblower protection program

The federal whistleblower protection program that is supposed to serve 200 million U.S. workers is languishing under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s authority and should be removed, according to a new Government Accountability Office report. The GAO report admonished OSHA leadership for its inattention to the whistleblower program and recommended that it be elevated to its own separate office. The GAO’s recommendation jibes with the calls of whistleblower support organizations, such as Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), which has petitioned Labor Secretary Hilda Solis to turn the program into its own office within the Department of Labor. Entitled ... Read More

FAA let Northwest Airlines ignore safety rules, government report finds

Federal regulatory agencies have come under fire recently for their “cozy relationships” with large corporations; the Food and Drug Administration, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the now-defunct Minerals Management Service have all been targeted for reform by the Obama Administration for their failure to enforce safety rules and regulations. Now the Federal Aviation Administration is being investigated for turning a blind eye on Northwest Airlines while it ignored federal safety regulations for more than a decade. According to a new report by the Transportation Department’s inspector general’s office, the allegations were first made by Mark Lund, an FAA ... Read More

BP preparing for deep, remote arctic drilling

With all eyes fixated on the oil crisis in the Gulf of Mexico, BP is stealthily moving toward what could easily be this country’s (and the world’s) next environmental catastrophe: Deep-sea drilling in remote reaches of the Arctic. But will the Minerals Management Service (MMS) stop it? According to a report that appeared in Rolling Stones magazine, no. Many environmentalists assert that President Obama’s moratorium on offshore drilling is nothing more than a stall tactic engineered to allow the public’s anger to abate before MMS gives BP and other oil giants the green light to drill in an area that ... Read More

BP's official oil-spill response plan contains absurd information

Federal regulations require oil companies to prepare and submit detailed spill-response plans before they can begin drilling offshore in American waters — and rightfully so. That body of water we call the Gulf of Mexico is a rich and diverse natural resource that directly sustains a way of life for millions of residents, whether they’re employed by the multi-billion-dollar seafood and tourism industries or any business in between. Simply put, a threat to the Gulf of Mexico’s ecosystems is a threat to our economy and national security. Considering that, behold the colossal failure of the Minerals Management Service (MMS) to take ... Read More

Nonprofits sue BP, MMS for dangers oil spill poses to endangered wildlife

Defenders of Wildlife, a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to the protecting animals and plants in their natural habitat, has partnered with the Southern Environmental Law Center to file a lawsuit against BPfor the “unauthorized take” of endangered species caused by BP’s expanding oil spill and its use of chemical oil dispersants in unprecedented quantities. The Southern Environmental Law Center is a nonprofit law firm dedicated to protecting the health and environment of Virginia, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama. The two firms notified BP yesterday that they are filing the lawsuit because the oil spill created when the ... Read More

How has the federal government responded to BP's oil spill?

As frustration escalates over BP’s inability to cap and contain its massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, more and more people are directing their anger at the federal government for not doing more to curb the catastrophe and stem the economic impact the spill is having throughout the Gulf. Neither the U.S. nor BP has ever faced an environmental disaster of this magnitude, so nearly every response carries an element of the unknown with it. And along with the unknown comes an element of fear that the fix could do more damage than the oil itself. President Obama’s ... Read More

Failure to perform critical safety test, serious design = oil rig disaster

A leading oilfield services provider says that BP hired it to test the cement linings on the Deepwater Horizon’s drill column, but quit the testing and sent the crew home before its work was completed. Eleven hours later, natural gas blasted up the well and set off a series of giant explosions that sank what was supposed to be one of the most technologically advanced offshore rigs in the Gulf. Schlumberger Ltd., the testing firm, says that its crew and equipment were on standby to perform tests from April 18 to April 20. Some tests were successfully completed, yet BP ... Read More

Feds assess BP's record, company could lose its U.S. contracts

Environmental Protection Agency officials are reviewing BP’s troubled record of drilling for oil on U.S. soil and federal waters to determine whether the company should be barred from receiving government contracts. Such a move, if it comes to pass, could cost the company billions of dollars in revenue. Throughout the last decade, BP has paid several million dollars in fines to U.S. regulatory agencies and has been implicated in four instances of criminal misconduct. However, the oil industry’s “cozy relationship,” with the Minerals Management Service, as President Obama put it, may have shielded BP from actions harsher than token fines. ... Read More

Oil spill hearings continue, failures revealed, blame game intensifies

Executives from BP, Transocean, Halliburton, and other corporations tied to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill appeared before the House Energy and Commerce Committee today trying to explain why their “failproof” systems failed, creating an unprecedented threat to the wildlife, industries and communities along the Gulf Coast. BP’s internal documents, which were marked as “classified,” but declassified today by Congress, revealed that the corporation was dealing with a quagmire of deep-sea technological failures and procedural problems when the offshore oil rig it was leasing from Transocean exploded on April 20. The hearings uncovered evidence that suggested engineers working for the companies failed ... Read More