Democratic Deepwater Horizon anniversary report criticizes administration's offshore drilling policies

Democratic Deepwater Horizon anniversary report criticizes administration's offshore drilling policies
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House Democrats criticized the Trump administration’s offshore drilling policies in a report issued on Monday, which marked the 10th anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. 

“The Trump administration has prioritized “energy dominance,” which means less focus on worker safety and environmental protection and more emphasis on ensuring higher profits and lower costs for the oil and gas industry,” the report reads.

The report was issued by Democrats on the House Natural Resources Committee. 

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It particularly takes issue with the administration's actions to remove some of the safety mandates on the oil and gas industry and pointed to an analysis from a left-wing think tank that found that spills and injuries were on the rise during the Trump administration. 

It concluded that the administration’s actions “have increased the odds that workers, local businesses, community members, and taxpayers will once again pay the price of an offshore disaster.”

Interior Department spokesperson Conner Swanson slammed the report as "overtly political" in a statement to The Hill and said that it "could not be further from the truth."

"Since day one, the Trump Administration and the Department have taken actions to ensure energy development is conducted in a safe and smart manner,” Swanson said. 

The department has also previously defended its loosening of requirements, saying it was getting rid of "unnecessary regulatory burdens while maintaining safety and environmental protection offshore."

Monday's report additionally decried “industry access to leadership,” and pointed to one instance in which a former Interior Department official went on to work for a company that his policy work had allegedly helped. 

In a statement on the report, Natural Resources Chairman Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) said, “Oil spills are signs that our regulatory systems have failed and the way we do business isn’t safe. Ignoring those lessons and aggressively weakening health, safety and financial laws to make life easier for fossil fuel corporations is greedy and careless.”

On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon spill occurred, leaving 11 people dead and pumping millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.