CG Adm Thad Allen and Bureau of OEM support an independent drilling regulatory agency.


The hearing of the U.S. House Coast Guard and maritime transportation subcommittee came as news surfaced that the Obama administration may oppose a commission recommendation to create an independent regulatory agency because it could clash with reforms already being undertaken by the Interior Department.

If reports from an independent regulatory agency clashes with the government agencies, that is a GOOD thing. Do we not remember how MMS (Minerals and Management Services) were partially to blame for the lack of safety measures and protocol for the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill?

It is imperative that we have an independent agency doublechecking the work of our government. It has been proven that the government oversight needs independent oversight. Too shun this idea is a slap in the face to the Gulf States and families of the oil rig victims.

After the April 20 accident, the Interior Department separated its regulatory arm from the royalty collection division reasoning that there could be a conflict of interest between the two operations. That came to no surprise to anyone closely following the MMS or the Interior Department and was actually a much needed relief.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement replaced the Minerals Management Service in the department as the industry regulator. The commission recommended that a new independent agency be formed to monitor regulation.

The seven-member panel wants an agency similar to how the FBI operates independently of the Justice Department, including having a director who is appointed for a time period in order to avoid any political interference.

Commission member Donald Boesch told the subcommittee the independent agency recommendation should be implemented.

Boesch also testified that the oil industry should pay for any step-up of industry enforcement. In response to subcommittee questions, Boesch said the commission recommendations would cost the oil industry from seven to 12 cents per barrel.

The tax would amount to a quarter of a cent increase on a gallon of gas and boost the regulation needed to police the industry.

A price that I, personally, would be willing to pay in order to avoid another explosion and catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico.

I urge an Independent Commission to commence and oversee the operations of oil drilling and environment affairs. There is simply too much to stake to leave it in the hands of the Federal Government.

Copyright (c) February 16, 2011. All rights reserved.

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Man burst into song at Oil Spill Commission.


Great point about hurricane season. That still rings true today.  Last year, we were lucky- we didnt have too many active storms. Next year, could be a whole different story. What’s going to happen when all that disperse oil sunken into the water column is brought to the surface and sprayed out over the Gulf states?!

“Little brother – he aint feeling well, what’s that your spraying on the oil spill?” Indeed, that’s what I would like to know.

One point on HAZMAT training, I received my hazmat training level 3 certification and all it entitles us to do is pick up tar balls. We cannot help oiled wildlife or anything else more helpful.

Even then, most of the opportunities within BP were given to contractors who came in from OUT of state instead of giving those jobs to the people who were living in the oily mess.

If you have any inside contacts of people dealing directly with the oil spill, please contact me directly at TheHeartofAmerica@hotmail.com

Thank you for you attention to this matter.

Safety measures for oil may be tedious but dont throw them to the wayside for a quick dollar.


Four stars **** on the revamped legislation, Implementing the Recommendations of the BP Oil Spill Commission Act,  reflects the recommendations of the independent oil spill commission tasked with investigating the BP Deepwater Horizon/Gulf of Mexico oil spill and the practices of the oil industry.

The legislation includes the following major elements, which all reflect the recommendations of the spill commission:

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–Reorganizes the Interior Department and strengthens the Department’s offshore oil safety agency.

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–Creates a dedicated funding stream to the federal agencies responsible for regulating and overseeing the safety of offshore drilling.

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–Establishes unlimited liability for companies in the event of an oil spill as a deterrent against risky practices.

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–Dedicates 80 percent of the fines from the oil spill to Gulf of Mexico restoration efforts.

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–Increases the role of experts in the U.S. Coast Guard and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the decision-making process for where new oil drilling can occur.

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–Requires the Federal Government to develop realistic worst-case flow-rate models and for oil companies to use them when they create real, worst-case scenario oil spill response plans.

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–Creates a dedicated funding stream for oil spill research and development.

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–Increases the per incident payout from the oil spill liability trust fund.

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–Creates permanent government expertise on estimating and measuring the flow rates from deepwater spills.

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–Requires research into gaps in scientific data and response capabilities in the Arctic.

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–Requires strong new standards for blowout preventers, well design and cementing practices.

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–Requires extensive study of the potential effects of dispersant use on aquatic life and the environment.

“This legislation turns the lessons of the BP oil spill into the laws that will ensure this type of disaster does not happen again in American waters,” said Rep. Edward J. Markey, Ranking Member of the Natural Resources Committee.

“This legislation will allow the offshore oil industry to continue doing business while changing the business-as-usual practices that led to the Gulf of Mexico spill.”

“The lessons from the explosion and blowout on the Deepwater Horizon are clear.  Commonsense regulations are necessary to protect the economy and environment of the Gulf Coast,” said Rep. Henry A. Waxman ,one of the Ranking Members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

“With this legislation, we can hold the appropriate parties accountable and make sure that this type of catastrophic blowout never happens again.”

“Gone are the days of Federal land management agencies sitting on the sidelines while Big Oil is given free reign to write its own rules and run roughshod over America’s public energy resources.

Gone too is the around-the-clock coverage of oil spewing into the Gulf, but in no way should that lessen the urgency with which Congress acts to prevent another disaster from occurring,” said Rep. Nick J. Rahall Leader of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

“This bill is about holding BP and other parties responsible, restoring the economy of the Gulf, and making sure offshore drilling is done in an efficient and safe manner, because no one should have to risk their life to secure their livelihood.”

Rep. George Miller, Ranking Member of the Education and Workforce Committee agrees, “This legislation includes important provisions to protect workers and the environment when companies are drilling for oil and gas. We will bar companies with a history of being dangerous to workers or to the environment from the privilege of drilling off America’s coastline for our natural resources, and we will ensure that whistleblowers are protected when they call attention to dangerous practices.”

Representatives Miller and Markey also introduced companion legislation today that would extend modern whistleblower protections to workers whose employers are engaged in oil and gas exploration, drilling, production, or cleanup on the Outer Continental Shelf.

Currently, those workers have no protection against retaliation by an employer for speaking up on hazardous conditions.

“Few legislative modifications to the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 research and development program have been made since its enactment. Theresponse to the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has exposed the need for an effective and coordinated research program for oil spill response and cleanup.

Additionally, the National Commission report on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling calls for “mandatory funding for this oil spill response research and development,” said Eddie Bernice Johnson, Ranking Member of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee (D-Texas). “

While a big proponent of Alternative Energy,  I understand that natural gas and oil are imperative for our daily functions.  However, I know it to be a fact that gas companies are lax on their safety measures in an effort to save a dollar and increase their profits. Safety measures are cut and follow through is not guaranteed.

Look at the Deepwater Horizon, source of April 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.  If you want, take my word for it~ The reward is not worth the risk~ not when there are alternative energy sources waiting to be tapped without little environmental risk.

As a resident on the Gulf, I plead that oil companies ahere to these new guide lines. Now that the MMS (Minerals Managament) department is broken up, I am hoping that we can have real regulations enforced to ensure safety for all.

Copyright (c) January 28, 2011. All rights reserved.

Net Neutrality- a bipartisan concern.


Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) filed legislation Wednesday to strike down Internet line regulations passed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) during the lame duck session in December 2010.

Blackburn’s office said she is also joined by more than 60 members, including the majority of Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. With most recent cosigner, Blue-Dog Democrat Rep. Dan Boren (Okla) stepping into the fight to strike the attempt at a governmental communicative take over.

The bill states, generally, that regulations impacting the Internet must be left to Congress and not the FCC.

The FCC’s rules required cable and DSL providers not to block websites and services consumers want to use,  while leaving wireless companies with a little more latitude.

However,the FCC is still curious as to how to power grab the wireless telecoms— as apparent in the FCC’s new rules to require wireless telecoms to be transparent about what blocking or “traffic management” they engage in.

So it’s little surprise that the FCC announced Wednesday a competition for apps that will check if mobile carriers are blocking online video sites, slowing down VOIP services that compete with them or are monkeying around with the sites a user is trying to visit.

Yet, the FCC spins it in another manner: They state its “Open Internet Challenge” is intended to spur developers to make “innovative and functional applications that provide users with information about the extent to which their fixed or mobile broadband Internet services are consistent with the open Internet.”

The measure pleased few, and provoked outrage on all sides of the political fence from those who protest that, including FCC commissioner Robert McDowell state,  “It’s an interventionist over-reach by an activist federal regulator intent on asserting control over the internet.”

Sascha Meinrath, director of the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Initiative agreed, “Despite promising to fulfill President Obama’s campaign promise of enacting network neutrality rules to protect an open Internet, the FCC has instead prioritized the profits of corporations like AT&T over those of the general public, internet entrepreneurs and local businesses across the country.”

The new rules of the communication highway will resemble the old rules in many respects minus the legal authority and adding a massive new loophole.

For the first time, federal policy would allow for “paid prioritization,” which critics argue is the first step toward cleaving out high-speed, premium fast lanes from the “public internet.” This could jeopardize internet innovation by disincentivising entrepreneurial activity on the free, or regular, internet.

Both wireless and fixed broadband service providers will have to explain how they manage congestion on their networks. Additionally,  Cable and DSL providers would be barred from “unreasonably” discriminating against various online services.

It is unclear as to the FCC definition of “unreasonableness.” However,  if the FCC determines such “unreasonable” discrimination is occurring, the FCC says it has the power to enjoin — or stop — the behavior, as well as issue fines or even seize assets which is a direct violation of our 1st amendment right: Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press.

With the FCC regulation being pushed suddenly through the 2010 lame duck legislative body- it is going to take a fight to get the rules reversed.  This is a time that all parties: Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Tea Party,  Libertarians, No Party Affiliation alike need to stand together to ensure that our Constitutional Right as guaranteed to us in the 1st amendment is not taken away by control of mass media.

If you would like to be an activist on this issue, please contact me at Anahataetal@hotmail.com.

Copyright (c) January 6, 2010. All Rights Reserved.