Oil spill commission reuniting to press for drilling reforms

The commission issued a report in January of 2011 citing “systemic” problems within the oil industry, warning that another disaster could occur without major reforms within both the industry and the federal government.

In the months after the spill, the Interior Department issued a slew of more stringent offshore drilling safety regulations and restructured the department’s offshore drilling arm. The oil industry is working separately to improve oil spill containment technology and ensure that companies are better prepared to deal with well blowouts.

But the commission said Wednesday that more action is needed.

“We intend to do our best to ensure that the public and other stakeholders do not lose sight of the problems we identified and the actions needed to mitigate future spills like the Deepwater Horizon,” Bob Graham, the commission’s other co-chairman, said in a statement.

Natural Resources Defense Council President Frances Beinecke, a member of the commission, added, "If America is to have the safest operations in the fragile offshore environment, it’s essential that our recommendations be implemented. Vigilance and oversight of the oil industry are essential to the protection of the public's interest."