U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley joined their Senate colleagues in opposing the Trump administration’s proposed rollback of environmental regulations that enhance the safety of offshore drilling operations.
In a letter to Department of the Interior Secretary Zinke, the senators wrote that administration’s proposal would erode key safety and environmental regulations, which require the oil and gas industry to meet minimum standards when drilling. Those essential standards reduce the risk of spills, minimizing environmental impact.
“Rolling back these critical protections is not only irresponsible, it is dangerous. Your proposed rollback of the Blowout Preventer Systems and Well Control Rule is not in the best interest of workers, taxpayers, and the environment. Instead of throwing out common-sense safeguards, we should be working to incorporate more lessons learned from tragedies like Deepwater Horizon to improve safety, oil spill prevention, and response,” the senators wrote.
“We urge you to abandon this proposal to weaken the Blowout Preventer Systems and Well Control Rule and instead focus on prioritizing the health and safety of our economy and our environment.”
Wyden and Merkley were joined by the following senators in signing onto the letter: Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., Bill Nelson, D-Fla., Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., Ed Markey, D-Mass., Mazie K. Hirono, D-Hawaii, Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Tom Carper, D-Del., Cory Booker, D-N.J., Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., Jack Reed, D-R.I., Bob Menendez, D-N.J., Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Patty Murray, D-Wash., Ben Cardin, D-Md., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Michael Bennet, D-Colo., and Bernard Sanders, I-Vt.