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Reply #11: One thing for certain- no matter how one spins it this does not look good: [View All]

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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-23-10 10:13 PM
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11. One thing for certain- no matter how one spins it this does not look good:
Even before the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the use of environmental waivers was a source of concern. In September 2009, the Government Accountability Office released a report concluding that the waivers were being illegally granted to onshore drilling projects.

This month, the Interior Department announced plans to restrict the use of the waivers onshore, though not offshore. It also began a joint investigation of the offshore waiver process with the Council on Environmental Quality, an environmental arm of the White House.

The investigation, however, is likely to take months, and in the meantime the waivers are continuing to be issued. There is also a 60-day statute of limitations on contesting the waivers, which reduces the chances that they will be reversed if problems are found with the projects or the Obama administrations review finds fault in the exemption process.

At least three lawsuits to strike down the waivers have been filed by environmental groups this month. The lawsuits argue that the waivers are overly broad and that they undermine the spirit of laws like the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act, which forbid drilling projects from moving forward unless they produce detailed environmental studies about minimizing potential risks.


The administration has nowhere to place the blame for this sequence of events -other than upon themselves.

Salazar will probably take the fall once all is said and done.
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