Monday, March 12, 2018

"Help is on the way"

Some of us may remember a few months ago The Advocate published a friendly profile of Scott Angelle's time in Washington as Trump's top safety deregulator in the Interior Department. Mark Ballard' article described Angelle as an "impactful political warrior" who may "enrage environmentalists" but is really just an aw-shucksy family man trying to do the things he believes are right.

What are those things again
While attention has been focused on President Trump’s disputed decision in January to reverse drilling restrictions in nearly all United States coastal waters, the administration has also pursued a rollback of Obama-era regulations in the Gulf. Those rules include safety measures put in place after the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon rig in 2010, a disaster that killed 11 people and resulted in the largest marine oil spill in drilling history.

Smaller oil and gas companies, many backed by Wall Street and private equity firms, say they need the relief to survive financially, and the top safety official at the Interior Department appointed by Mr. Trump has appeared an enthusiastic ally.

Help is on the way, help is on the way,” the official, Scott Angelle, said in September at a gathering in Lafayette, La., of oil and gas executives from so-called independent companies, which focus on drilling alone rather than the extended drilling-to-gas-station operations of bigger competitors.

But an analysis of federal inspection data by The New York Times found that several of the independent companies seeking the rollback, including Energy XXI, had been cited for workplace safety violations in recent years at a rate much higher than the industry average. Their offshore platforms suffer in some cases from years of poor maintenance, as well as equipment failures or metal fatigue on aging devices, records show.

Good looking out, Scott.  You sure do know your constituency. 

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