View Full Version : U.S. Said to Allow Drilling Without Needed Permits

05-14-2010, 09:56 AM
Seems like the Obama administration has no issues with by passing the environmental red tape when it suits his interests. Where is the outrage from the left.

WASHINGTON The federal Minerals Management Service (http://www.mms.gov/) gave permission to BP (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/bp_plc/index.html?inline=nyt-org) and dozens of other oil (http://www.nytimes.com/info/oil/?inline=nyt-classifier) companies to drill in the Gulf of Mexico without first getting required permits from another agency that assesses threats to endangered species and despite strong warnings from that agency about the impact the drilling was likely to have on the gulf.

Those approvals, federal records show, include one for the well drilled by the Deepwater Horizon rig, which exploded on April 20, killing 11 workers and resulting in thousands of barrels of oil spilling into the gulf each day.

The Minerals Management Service (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/m/minerals_management_service/index.html?inline=nyt-org), or M.M.S., also routinely overruled its staff biologists and engineers who raised concerns about the safety and the environmental impact of certain drilling proposals in the gulf and in Alaska, according to a half-dozen current and former agency scientists.

Those scientists said they were also regularly pressured by agency officials to change the findings of their internal studies if they predicted that an accident was likely to occur or if wildlife might be harmed.

Under the Endangered Species Act (http://www.fws.gov/endangered/pdfs/ESAall.pdf) and the Marine Mammal Protection Act (http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/pdfs/laws/mmpa.pdf), the Minerals Management Service is required to get permits to allow drilling where it might harm endangered species or marine mammals.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, is partly responsible for protecting endangered species and marine mammals. It has said on repeated occasions (http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/national/14agency/2-NOAABi-Op.June-2007.pdf) that drilling in the gulf affects these animals, but the minerals agency since January 2009 has approved at least three huge lease sales, 103 seismic blasting projects and 346 drilling plans. Agency records also show that permission for those projects and plans was granted without getting the permits required under federal law.

Read the rest here (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/14/us/14agency.html)