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Obama Administration Approves 448 New Drill Leases for Gulf of Mexico [View All]

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tekisui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-17-10 08:03 AM
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Obama Administration Approves 448 New Drill Leases for Gulf of Mexico
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Source: Mother Jones

At his long-awaited press conference on the Gulf oil disaster last month, President Obama announced a moratorium on new oil drilling and exploration for six months. "We can't do this stuff if we don't have confidence that we can prevent crises like this from happening again," he declared. But while existing rigs may be out of commission for the near future, the administration hasn't exactly put the brakes on new oil and gas drilling ventures. In recent weeks, the government has quietly approved the sale of more than 400 new leases for vast swaths of the Gulf of Mexico. And these contractswhich mark the first step in the drilling processwere subjected to the same slapdash environmental oversight that failed to prevent the BP catastrophe.

The region was included in a plan created by the Bush administration's Department of the Interior to lease new areas of the Gulf to the oil and gas industries. But it was Obama's Interior secretary, Ken Salazar, who gave the go-ahead for the sale of Lease 2136,800 tracts covering 36 million acres off the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama in November 2009. The salewhich was held on March 17 this year in the New Orleans Superdomeattracted $1.3 billion in bids. Since then, the Department of the Interior's Minerals Management Service (MMS) has approved the sale of 448 of those tracts, 198 of them in deepwater, which is defined as more than 656 feet below the sea. BP is the proud new leaser of 13 of those tracts.

The lease sale is the first step in the oil drilling process. Companies must first obtain the right to drill the tracts before they can devise exploration plans, which must be approved by MMS.

And that's where the problem lies. MMS has been notorious for rubber-stamping the oil industry's plans. The lease for the well that's spewing oil into the Gulf, the Macondo, was sold in March 2008. The exploration plan for that well was granted a "categorical exclusion" from the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in April 2009, paving the way for drilling to begin.

Earlier, in April 2007, MMS completed a 924-page Multisale Environmental Impact Statement for the Gulf regioncovering both the site of the Deepwater disaster and these new tracts leased by the government. The statement projects that an "estimated 2-3 blowouts could occur" in the central Gulf in an average year, but significantly downplays the potential impact of a large spill. Most blowouts have a "short duration, and half of blowouts lasted less than half a day," the statement says, projecting that a large spill would only "acutely threaten recreational beaches for up to 30 days." The document also states that a large spill would only have a 23 to 25 percent risk of harming the waters of western Louisiana.

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  -Obama Administration Approves 448 New Drill Leases for Gulf of Mexico tekisui  Jun-17-10 08:03 AM   #0 
  - 198 of them in deepwater. This is no way to prevent future accidents.  tekisui   Jun-17-10 08:47 AM   #1 
  - Yikes! That is patently insane. Money trumps everything, it appears. n/t  Laelth   Jun-18-10 07:24 AM   #85 
     - Bush said money trumps peace. .  Chisox08   Jun-18-10 07:40 AM   #88 
  - Live and don't learn...  FiveGoodMen   Jun-17-10 08:49 AM   #2 
  - Live and let die  me b zola   Jun-17-10 12:09 PM   #53 
  - You better follow Obama's advice..start praying..not that that will do a fucking thing..but it keeps  flyarm   Jun-17-10 09:06 AM   #3 
  - We should pray, bend over and kiss our asses goodbye.  tekisui   Jun-17-10 09:19 AM   #4 
  - +  Bluebear   Jun-17-10 05:03 PM   #73 
  - No, no, you don't understand! Obama's DA MAN!  Art_from_Ark   Jun-17-10 09:29 AM   #9 
     - Hmmmm, wonder how much of a cut.......  howmad1   Jun-17-10 03:44 PM   #67 
     - +1  cwydro   Jun-18-10 07:03 AM   #80 
  - We reap what we sow.  City Lights   Jun-17-10 09:21 AM   #5 
  - As of June 11, 2010, only 85 were deemed acceptable  berni_mccoy   Jun-17-10 09:21 AM   #6 
  - Deleted message  Name removed   Jun-17-10 10:46 AM   #14 
     - Deleted message  Name removed   Jun-17-10 10:54 AM   #16 
        - There is only one reason to accept a are playing fast and furious to cover their asses! eom  flyarm   Jun-17-10 10:56 AM   #17 
        - I'm reporting a fact. That fact is that before drilling can occur, a drilling operation must be  berni_mccoy   Jun-17-10 11:00 AM   #18 
           - this is a fact as well!  flyarm   Jun-17-10 11:07 AM   #19 
           - Yes, in March, prior to Obama's moratorium on deepwater drilling.  berni_mccoy   Jun-17-10 11:10 AM   #22 
              - I guess you didn't bother to read the article did you? But I am not surprised of that fact..  flyarm   Jun-17-10 11:20 AM   #23 
              - Reading comprehension might help you. A lease is not an approval to drill.  berni_mccoy   Jun-17-10 11:23 AM   #25 
                 - I live on the now destroyed Gulf ..I fully understand that and have worked for years and years  flyarm   Jun-17-10 11:30 AM   #28 
                 - You're entitled to your outrage. But not to make up facts.  berni_mccoy   Jun-17-10 11:31 AM   #29 
                    - how bout these facts..the very day Obama signed off on drill baby drill  flyarm   Jun-17-10 11:39 AM   #30 
                    - Doesn't change the fact that the OP is incorrect and even misleading.  berni_mccoy   Jun-17-10 11:42 AM   #32 
                       - It isn't incorrect.  tekisui   Jun-17-10 11:42 AM   #33 
                          - Its says: 448 new leases were approved. Yet, only 85 were actually accepted  berni_mccoy   Jun-17-10 11:45 AM   #34 
                             - I went to your link and it says "As of April 13, 2010" 85 had been approved.  tekisui   Jun-17-10 11:49 AM   #39 
                                - You missread it. It's June 11th. Follow the link  berni_mccoy   Jun-17-10 11:52 AM   #45 
                                   - Here is the link to the June 11 update. 448 bids accepted. The OP is correct.  tekisui   Jun-17-10 12:03 PM   #49 
                                      - I stand corrected on the number, thanks. But the implication of the OP is still incorrect  berni_mccoy   Jun-17-10 12:14 PM   #55 
                    - One of the main points of the article:  Kermitt Gribble   Jun-17-10 11:50 AM   #41 
                    - Obama has already said the same thing about MMS. He even called it out in his Oval Office Address  berni_mccoy   Jun-17-10 11:58 AM   #47 
                       - Obama is becoming well known for saying one thing  lark   Jun-17-10 03:18 PM   #65 
                    - It is funny because you're trying to pass your opinion as a "fact"  liberation   Jun-17-10 02:36 PM   #62 
                 - This seems to be splitting hairs.  caseymoz   Jun-18-10 02:02 AM   #77 
              - Most of the ones approved on you link are deepwater.  tekisui   Jun-17-10 12:02 PM   #48 
              - Shouldn't all drilling approved by the previous MMS be stopped until ...  GOTV   Jun-17-10 12:31 PM   #61 
           - as their disinformation campaign slogs on, eh?  dionysus   Jun-17-10 11:09 AM   #20 
              - inorite?!  berni_mccoy   Jun-17-10 11:21 AM   #24 
                 - Why continue the process that lead to drilling?  tekisui   Jun-17-10 11:45 AM   #35 
                    - A Moratorium on deepwater drilling until better standards are in place is a start.  berni_mccoy   Jun-17-10 11:47 AM   #37 
                    - There are no 'better standards' worth this risk.  tekisui   Jun-17-10 11:49 AM   #40 
                    - Obama agrees that even better standards won't remove the risk. He said so in his Oval Office Address  berni_mccoy   Jun-17-10 11:51 AM   #44 
                       - If we cannot remove the risk, we should be doing it. Period.  tekisui   Jun-17-10 12:06 PM   #51 
                          - You'll have a problem explaining that to Americans who's way of living currently depend on it.  berni_mccoy   Jun-17-10 12:15 PM   #56 
                             - I understand that.  tekisui   Jun-17-10 12:18 PM   #58 
                                - On that, I agree.  berni_mccoy   Jun-17-10 12:23 PM   #60 
                    - By Renewables  Daveparts still   Jun-18-10 08:01 AM   #89 
                    - I bet not. I can't speak to offshore drilling  Robb   Jun-17-10 11:50 AM   #43 
                       - Thanks,Robb.  tekisui   Jun-17-10 12:07 PM   #52 
        - This is evidence that it is business as usual.  tekisui   Jun-17-10 11:42 AM   #31 
           - Again, you don't have the facts.  berni_mccoy   Jun-17-10 11:50 AM   #42 
              - Sorry, I meant deepwater drilling.  tekisui   Jun-17-10 12:05 PM   #50 
              - You're 100% correct.  dgibby   Jun-18-10 10:39 AM   #91 
              - Wake up. Put Country first.  emilyg   Jun-17-10 12:10 PM   #54 
  - DRILL BABY DRILL!  QC   Jun-17-10 09:23 AM   #7 
  - Insanity. nt  glitch   Jun-17-10 09:26 AM   #8 
  - oops, better take mine down.  lonestarnot   Jun-17-10 09:31 AM   #10 
  - Nice move there. Some company must have found out how to stop oil gushers in 5000+ feet of ocean  nc4bo   Jun-17-10 09:34 AM   #11 
  - Lesson not learned. n/t  OhioChick   Jun-17-10 09:55 AM   #12 
  - +  Bluebear   Jun-17-10 02:44 PM   #63 
  - well, with the entire Gulf fast becoming a dead zone...  alterfurz   Jun-17-10 09:58 AM   #13 
  - Precisely n/t  Catherina   Jun-17-10 11:10 AM   #21 
  - That was the other reason  tiptoe   Jun-17-10 11:46 AM   #36 
  - This says more to me about this administration's response  LWolf   Jun-17-10 10:52 AM   #15 
  - Indeed.  tekisui   Jun-17-10 11:23 AM   #26 
  - +1  leftstreet   Jun-18-10 12:44 AM   #76 
  - Brings back fond memories of HCR  dgibby   Jun-18-10 10:42 AM   #92 
  - As always; deeds, not words.  Lorien   Jun-17-10 05:00 PM   #72 
  - "drill, baby, drill" redux  amborin   Jun-17-10 11:24 AM   #27 
  - This is how we know it's all a lie.  asdjrocky   Jun-17-10 11:48 AM   #38 
  - The Gulf of Texaco is fucked already.  Dr.Phool   Jun-17-10 11:57 AM   #46 
  - 'Gulf of Texaco' - Perfect.  Bluebear   Jun-17-10 03:44 PM   #68 
  - Notice they didn't specify which year they're talking about. n/t  dgibby   Jun-18-10 10:44 AM   #93 
  - Do the individual States have any say in this process?  paparush   Jun-17-10 12:17 PM   #57 
  - But, but, but the Gulf of Mexico never loved Obama to begin with.  Karmadillo   Jun-17-10 12:22 PM   #59 
  - Deleted message  Name removed   Jun-17-10 03:08 PM   #64 
  - White House spin will not make this go away  spoony   Jun-17-10 03:23 PM   #66 
  - Incredibly fucked up.  inna   Jun-17-10 03:51 PM   #69 
  - Another corporate action by a corporate administration  Individualist   Jun-17-10 04:26 PM   #70 
  - Just horrible, K&R  quinnox   Jun-17-10 04:29 PM   #71 
  - Deleted message  Name removed   Jun-17-10 08:20 PM   #74 
  - +1 Well said. n/t  Laelth   Jun-18-10 07:20 AM   #84 
  - D.L.C. must go. (nt)  w4rma   Jun-18-10 12:41 AM   #75 
  - We have a full blown disaster still ongoing and he sells more leases?  cornermouse   Jun-18-10 03:10 AM   #78 
  - What is left of the Gulf is going to be like the Caspian Sea ....  gleaner   Jun-18-10 06:03 AM   #79 
  - k and r  cwydro   Jun-18-10 07:04 AM   #81 
  - Of course we're going to keep drilling for oil  treestar   Jun-18-10 07:06 AM   #82 
  - No deepwater drilling. It is absurd to even entertain that prospect further.  tekisui   Jun-18-10 10:05 AM   #90 
  - Doesn't matter, the Gulf will be a tar pit by this time next  pokercat999   Jun-18-10 07:20 AM   #83 
  - Whee!  Dinger   Jun-18-10 07:27 AM   #86 
  - Didn't he learn anything from the Oil Volcano in the Gulf of Mexico?  Chisox08   Jun-18-10 07:39 AM   #87 
  - K&R!  OmmmSweetOmmm   Jun-18-10 11:15 AM   #94 
  - insane in the membrane  inna   Jun-18-10 06:45 PM   #95 

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