Obama Announces Indefinite Offshore Drilling Ban: Hold the Cheers
by Stephen Lendman
He's no friend of the earth, far from it. His scheme may be to obstruct and delay projects Trump may have in mind, promising more oil and gas drilling on federal land.
On December 20, a White House statement said "(t)oday, in partnership with our neighbors and allies in Canada, the United States is taking historic steps to build a strong Arctic economy, preserve a healthy Arctic ecosystem and protect our fragile Arctic waters, including designating the bulk of our Arctic water and certain areas in the Atlantic Ocean as indefinitely off limits to future oil and gas leasing."
Obama exercised his authority under the 1953 Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, making it hard, not impossible, for Trump to overturn his action.
BP's April 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon disaster turned Gulf of Mexico areas into dead zones. It did unprecedented underwater damage to marine and plant life, suppressed to conceal how devastating.
Instead of acting responsibly, the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service (MMS) approved 27 more projects, 26 exempted from environmental review, including two for notorious ecological criminal BP.
Industry priorities override ecosanity in Washington. From 2010 to 2014, Obama granted over 1,200 Gulf of Mexico fracking permits, unconcerned how toxic chemicals contaminate land and water where used.
He let oil polluters dump over 76 billion gallons of wastewater into Gulf waters in 2014 alone. Federal official approve this practice annually.
On and offshore fracking is permitted without proper assessments of ecological risks. Over 300 environmental review exemptions were granted.
A Governmental Accountability Office (GAO) assessment found the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), established following the BP disaster, failed to complete "a policy outlining investigative responsibilities or updated procedures for investigating incidents."
Energy companies are free to pollute and endanger human health and welfare unaccountably. Obama's announced offshore drilling ban will do little or nothing to correct a longstanding problem.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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