After clamping down and imposing a ban on offshore drilling in the wake of last spring’s disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced Tuesday that the moratorium is over and, as he put it, “We are open for business.” —KA
The New York Times:
We have made and continue to make significant progress in reducing the risks associated with deepwater drilling,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in announcing the step. Therefore, he said, “I have decided that it is now appropriate to lift the suspension on deepwater drilling for those operators that are able to clear the higher bar that we have set.”
Though the administration’s decision takes effect immediately, it may be weeks or months before drilling operations resume, because companies will first have to submit new permit applications showing they have complied with the tougher rules, and have their rigs inspected. Officials said that they expect at least some of the idle drilling rigs in the gulf to be at work again by the end of the year.