US has approved 19 environmental drilling waivers since oil spill

On May 14, President Barack Obama announced that oil companies would no longer be given license to bypass environmental reviews of their drilling projects.

“We’re also closing the loophole that has allowed some oil companies to bypass some critical environmental reviews,” Obama said.

But in the month since the BP-run Deepwater Horizon (above right) exploded and collapsed into the sea, its drill site spewing an unending current of oil into the open ocean, the US government has granted at least 19 environmental waivers for gulf drilling projects and 17 drilling permits. Most are for deepwater drilling operations, similar to that conducted by the ill-fated rig.

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