Big Oil Wanted Changes To Well Safety Rule. Top Trump Official ‘Agreed.’

“Newly released documents highlight the degree to which industry has shaped the rules that police it under the Trump administration.”

“In December 2017, the Trump administration rolled out a proposal to gut a key offshore drilling safety regulation, adopted in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, that the Trump administration had cited to justify its plans to open nearly all U.S. waters to oil and gas development.

Newly released emails show that months earlier, the American Petroleum Institute and six other oil industry groups told top officials at the Department of the Interior that they “did not see the need” for the Obama-era Well Control Rule to include oversight from the department’s main offshore energy enforcement arm, and asked regulators to eliminate whole sections of the regulation, which the Obama administration had finalized in 2016 to prevent the next Deepwater Horizon disaster.

In response to the request, Interior Associate Deputy Secretary James Cason thanked the industry groups for their feedback. And Daniel Jorjani ― a Trump appointee later promoted to serve as the agency’s top lawyer ― emailed back just one word: “Agreed.””

Chris D’Angelo and Alexander C. Kaufman report for HuffPost May 2, 2020.