Oct. 03–With President Donald Trump’s administration finalizing it’s plan to roll back some offshore oil drilling regulations, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan is calling the move a “monumental mistake” and supporting legislation that would hault the rollback.
Trump’s administration is repealing some regulations put in place after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, following through on a plan announced in 2017. Buchanan has consistently opposed the effort.
Buchanan, R-Longboat Key, tweeted in April that “The Administration’s plan to weaken safety rules put in place after the fatal explosion must be withdrawn.”
The U.S. Department of the Interior finalized the new offshore drilling rules last week and published them in the Federal Register. They will take effect Dec. 27 unless Congress acts.
Buchanan announced Tuesday that he is co-sponsoring the Safe COAST Act (H.R. 4888), which would nullify the Interior Department’s rule change.
The Interior Department’s new drilling rules will end a requirement that safety measures and equipment used in offshore drilling be independently verified. The new rules also repeal a mandate that drilling equipment must be designed to operate in the “most extreme” conditions, among other changes.
“It would be a monumental mistake to lift these safeguards,” Buchanan said in a press release. “The last thing we need after suffering through the devastating impact of red tide is to open the door to another catastrophic oil spill.”
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