Should Victims of the BP Oil Spill Be Unsettled by Recent Settlement Agreement?

April will mark the two-year anniversary of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster that killed eleven people, injured seventeen others, and released an estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. On March 16, the Senate passed a widely supported measure that would section off 80 percent of the fines BP has paid and direct those funds to the five Gulf states impacted by the spill.

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Offshore Drilling Poised to Expand, but Transparency Still Lags

As the Obama administration increases approvals of deepwater oil drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico, environmental advocates have seen little meaningful increase in the transparency of the permitting process. A lack of transparency in the regulatory process was identified as a contributing factor in BP's Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster and the highly criticized response effort.

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Obama Continues Post-Spill Reforms to Better Police Drilling

The Obama administration continued revamping offshore oil drilling regulation by recently announcing the next step in its plans to reorganize the Department of the Interior – creating a new agency to oversee drilling safety.

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Commentary: Did OMB Block Worst-Case Estimates of Oil Spill?

A working paper by the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling has ignited a controversy about the role of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in controlling information about the spill. The working paper alleges that, soon after the April 20 explosion of BP's Deepwater Horizon rig, OMB blocked plans to disclose the government's worst-case models of the spill. The administration's response to the allegations leaves several key questions without clear answers, which can only be resolved by disclosing the drafts and feedback through which these critical documents were developed.

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Reports Start Flowing on BP's Gulf Oil Disaster

New reports on BP's April 20 Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster detail problems with oil drilling operations and regulation, including environmental reviews, agency approvals, and industry oversight.

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Another Shameful Attack on Our Public Protections

By Gary D. Bass, OMB Watch
Simultaneously published July 21, 2010 in the Huffington Post
There they go again. Amid some of the most spectacular market failures the country has ever seen, business lobbyists and their friends in Congress want to reinvigorate their discredited deregulatory agenda.

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Courts Block Deepwater Drilling Moratorium, Salazar Issues Revisions in Response

On July 8, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the Obama administration's attempt to block deepwater oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. In a three-paragraph ruling, the court denied by a 2-1 vote the administration's request to stay an earlier ruling by a federal district court that struck down the moratorium. In response, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has revised the moratorium.

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Obstructions Continue To Hinder Media Access to Oil Spill

Despite statements from the Coast Guard and BP supporting media access to sites related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, journalists continue to be threatened, intimidated, and denied access as they attempt to cover what many consider to be the worst environmental disaster in the history of the United States. Considering the unprecedented and unknown impacts of the spill, the public is relying heavily on unimpeded journalists to uncover the causes, responses, and consequences of the disaster.

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After Crises, Companies Continue to Place Public and Workers at Risk

In the wake of high-profile regulatory failures, including the worst mine disaster in recent history, the companies responsible continue to run afoul of laws and regulations meant to protect public health and worker safety.

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Lack of Transparency in Oil and Gas Oversight Still a Major Problem

The Department of the Interior's management of oil and natural gas resources suffers from a lack of public access to information, according to government investigators and numerous public interest groups. This lack of openness takes a significant toll on the public's ability to challenge Interior's decisions and impedes accountability. Reforms to the Interior Department's oil and gas management policies announced in recent months have not made transparency a key element, casting doubt on their potential to bring about stronger oversight.

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