Obama Tightens Air Standards on Offshore Drilling
The Obama administration continued its crack down on air pollution from oil and gas operations on 17 March, this time targeting offshore drilling.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced it was developing new air standards for the first time in more than three decades. Looking at operations in the Gulf of Mexico and Arctic Ocean, the proposed rules are designed to reign in emissions on everything from offshore platforms to the ice breakers that clear the way off the coast of Alaska.
With proposals already pending on natural gas leaks and the practice of flaring gas at oil wells, the administration is seeking to clean up an industry that had largely avoided the tough air pollution standards placed on power plants and other large industrial operations.
“This proposal incorporates key aspects of today’s practices into our regulations, while also bringing our regulations up to speed with the best available science,” BOEM Director Abigail Hopper said in a statement.