Senator Markey Decries New Trump Administration “Speed Over Safety” Offshore Drilling Rules

Markey was leading Congressional investigator into BP oil spill


Washington (December 29, 2017) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, released the following statement after the Trump administration published its proposal today to roll back rules meant to prevent offshore drilling disasters. Senator Markey was the leading Congressional investigator into the BP oil spill, and the first to post the Spillcam online of the underwater spill.


“It hasn’t even been ten years since the Deepwater Horizon disaster dumped millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, yet the Trump administration wants to return to the speed-over-safety mentality that led to the BP spill in the first place,” said Senator Markey. “At the behest of its oil company cronies, the Trump administration wants to roll back rules meant to prevent offshore drilling disasters at the same time that they want to expand offshore drilling to new areas like the East Coast and put our coastlines, residents and wildlife at risk. This proposal targets rules meant to ensure that safety devices are functioning properly. Instead of making sure the oil and gas industry’s last-resort protections work, the Trump administration resorts to putting protection last.


“Congress has yet to enact a single new significant law to improve the safety of offshore drilling,” concluded Senator Markey. “We owe it to the residents of the Gulf and to all those living along coastline where the Trump administration hopes to drill with abandon to ensure environmental tragedies like Deepwater never happen again. Congress must still act, and I will continue to fight in the Senate to ensure that we enact the strongest protections for our environment and workers in offshore drilling.” 


In April, Senators Markey and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) led a group of 27 senators in calling on the Trump administration to protect the coastlines of the United States from offshore oil drilling. The senators sent a letter to Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke urging him not to revise the 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program (Five-Year Plan) to eliminate protections for the East and West Coasts, the Eastern Gulf of Mexico and for the sensitive marine ecosystems in the Arctic Ocean.