Interior halts exemptions from environmental reviews for deepwater drilling

The Obama administration will no longer allow new deepwater drilling projects to go forward without environmental reviews, as happened with BP's Deepwater Horizon.

The administration announced the new policy Monday after the White House Council on Environmental Quality reported that BP got environmental exemptions based on decades-old data.

The Interior Department said the policy would be in place pending full review of how environmental exemptions are granted. That could make it much more time-consuming for oil companies to pursue deepwater projects.

Shallow-water drilling will also be subjected to stricter environmental scrutiny under the new policy. The biggest impact will be after the current moratorium on new deepwater drilling in the Gulf is lifted.

Source: AP News

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