Month 10, Day 13: Grrrrrrr.


Dear Secretary Salazar — The Department of the Interior may have set some higher safety and environmental impact standards for offshore drilling, but will this translate into increased enforcement of these standards? If the moratorium on drilling is lifted, we need to significantly increase the budget for inspectors and regulators who will be a powerful presence on each and every drilling rig.

During the previous administration regulations were first gutted, then flouted, then ignored, leading inexorably to the catastrophic Deepwater Horizon disaster. It won’t make a bit of difference if the regulations are toughened unless the enforcement environment is made much, much, much more stringent.

The plain fact is that these big oil companies have been getting away with environmental crimes for decades — oil and coal extraction has severely damaged ecosystems around the world, many of them irrevocably. With our planetary system already in a state of shock from increased greenhouse gas emissions, there can no longer be any excuse for allowing fossil fuel industries free rein in their misuse of extractive technologies.

Any adjustment to safety and environmental regulations that assumes responsible behavior on the part of these organizations is hopelessly naive. I confess to grave disappointment; I had hopes that the present administration was prepared to recognize the grave environmental consequences of unbridled corporate sociopathy. I hope that I am proven wrong, but I am afraid that the Department of the Interior has just gotten played. Again.

Yours Sincerely,

Warren Senders

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