April 04, 2011 Articles

The Effects of the Deepwater Horizon Final Report

The article highlights the major recommendations of the National Commission's report and potential impacts on future legislation and the oil and gas industry.

Jonathan K. Waldron – April 4, 2011

As scheduled, the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill submitted its report and recommendations to President Obama on January 11, 2011. The National Commission—co-chaired by former two-term Florida governor and former senator Bob Graham, and former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency William K. Reilly—was tasked with providing recommendations on how we can prevent—and mitigate the impact of—any future spills that result from offshore drilling.

In essence, the final report warns that dramatic steps are required to prevent another failure and, if that occurs, the public will wonder why Congress, the administration, and the industry allowed this to happen again. On the other hand, the oil industry quickly struck out against the report, stating that companies with good safety records should not be subjected to costly new rules and warned that a major new set of regulations would slow production and drive up prices. Objections were also raised against the recommendation that the current $75 million cap on liability for accidents be raised by an unspecified amount.

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