At the request of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, the Bipartisan Policy Center formed a working group to consider the use of moratoria as a method for mitigating future harm in the immediate aftermath of a spill. The working group evaluated the appropriate questions for the federal government to consider in determining which of the suspended activities could safely resume if the moratorium were lifted. The working group concluded that the need to impose a moratorium on deepwater drilling reflects how unprepared both government and industry were for an incident of this magnitude. The working group believes that compliance with the Interior Department’s Notice to Lessees 5 and 6 and other actions by the Department of Interior (DOI) will achieve a significant and beneficial reduction of risk. This new regime will provide an adequate margin of safety to responsibly allow the resumption of deep water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
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