WASHINGTON, D.C. – In remarks today at a joint Department of the Interior and Department of Energy forum, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar pledged that the U.S. Government will be fully engaged in the effort to develop a robust capability to handle deepwater blowouts on the Outer Continental Shelf.
“To achieve our objective of safer offshore energy production, we must eliminate the gap between the technology and knowledge that allows oil and gas companies to tap reserves beneath 5,000 feet of water - and the technologies and strategies that allow us to deal with emergencies at those depths,” Salazar told a meeting of U.S. government, industry, and stakeholder leaders and experts.
“Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and I have convened this meeting to discuss the increased understanding we now have on how to strengthen blowout containment capabilities,” Salazar said. “It is my hope that today’s discussion will help guide reforms that are raising the bar for the oil and gas industry’s practices, as well as to help inform recommendations on whether and how to lift the current deepwater drilling suspension.”
Salazar noted that the Obama administration has executed the most aggressive offshore drilling reforms in the nation’s history in response to the Deepwater Horizon blowout and spill. “Our goal,” the Secretary said, “is simple: to raise the bar on safety and environmental protections so that deepwater drilling can safely resume.”
In addition to Secretaries Salazar and Chu, the participants included Interior Deputy Secretary of the Interior David J. Hayes; Dr. Marcia McNutt, Director, United States Geological Survey; Dr. Tom Hunter, former Director, Sandia National Laboratory; Michael R. Bromwich, Director, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement; Ret.. Adm. Thad Allen, National Incident Commander; Rear Admiral Brian M. Salerno, Deputy Commandant for Operations, United States Coast Guard; Andrew Inglis, Chief Executive of Exploration & Production, BP; Rex W. Tillerson, Chairman& CEO, ExxonMobil; Hon. Don Winter, PhD, National Academy of Eningeering; and Elgie Holstein, Environmental Defense Fund
The Secretary Salazar’s remarks are online at http://www.doi.gov/news/video/loader.cfm?csModule=security/getfile&PageID=44931
The webcast of the conference will be available at http://www.doi.gov/news/mediaadvisories/Deepwater-Blowout-Containment-Webcast.cfm