BOEMRE Director Michael R. Bromwich today tried to allay offshore industry fears that his agency will soon change the rules of the permitting process significantly, thereby creating further uncertainty about what is required to conduct business on the OCS.
"The phrases we hear repeatedly," said Director Bromwich, "are that we are 'changing the rules' and 'moving the goalposts' - the implication is that we have other regulatory requirements up our sleeve that we have not yet unveiled. This is not the case. Barring significant, unanticipated revelations from investigations into the root causes of the Deepwater Horizon explosion that remain in process, I do not anticipate further emergency rulemakings. Period."
Director Bromwich gave that reassurance in remarks deliverd today at the Center for Strategic and International Studies Gulf Oil Spill Series in Washington, D.C.
Director Bromwich discussed lessons learned from the Deepwater Horizon blowout and spill, ongoing regulatory reform efforts, and the reorganization of the former Minerals Management Service. He also revealed that the Department of the Interior is already working to establish an Offshore Energy Safety Institute. In his prepared remarks, however, he did not elaborate on how that would mesh with the call by the National Oil Spill Commission for the creation of an industry self-policing entity with broad thesimilarities to Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) created by the nuclear power industry in December 1979 in the aftermath of the Three Mile Island disaster .
Director Bromwich's remarks, as prepared for delivery, are available HERE
January 13, 2011