BOEMRE, the Federal agency managing offshore energy development, just issued a second permit to allow deepwater drilling to continue in the Gulf of Mexico. Like Noble Energy, recipient of the first permit, BHP Billiton (an Australian company) will resume drilling on a well that had been partly completed when the BP / Deepwater Horizon explosion and massive oil spill occurred last April.
Another unfortunate similarity: the public version of BHP’s permit application contains no information about oil spill containment, cleanup, or other response plans and capabilities. I hope it’s all in the redacted version. But shouldn’t that information be readily available to the public, along with a record of decision detailing the agency’s review of the information and justifying their confidence that the applicants can respond rapidly and effectively in the event of a major incident and spill?
Maybe somebody from BOEMRE can explain that to us. Otherwise, we’re just skipping down the road to the next disaster.