Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Nation’s New Drilling Chief Plans to ‘Jump on Evidence of Violations’

The former federal prosecutor who now heads the government agency that oversees offshore drilling says he is not afraid to fine lawbreaking oil companies or even put some executives in jail. But Michael Bromwich says he is not an anti-drilling zealot and will probably take actions that upset both industry groups and those who oppose drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and other sites. Bromwich, 56, had no previous experience in the oil and gas industry before taking over the 1,700 employee agency three weeks ago. Still, he said he understands that offshore drilling is "an energy reality for us for the foreseeable future. Anybody who tries to stop that dead in its tracks is, I think, blinding themselves to the realities of what we need in order to make this country run and keep our economy going." At the same time, he added, "We've just seen the incredible economic and human tragedy that's caused when the values of safety and regulation and environmental protection are not observed adequately, and when there is too much of a rush to drill, even when it is not safe."...more

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