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Deepwater Drilling: Questions and Answers

August 02, 2010 12:00 PM
New Wave staff

Michael R. Bromwich, director of the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, will lead a public meeting at Tulane University on Wednesday (Aug. 4) to collect information and comments about deepwater drilling safety reforms, blowout containment and oil spill response.

Oil Spill News from Tulane

oil rig

Issues surrounding deepwater drilling are the focus of a government-sponsored public meeting in McAlister Auditorium on the Tulane uptown campus on Wednesday (Aug. 4). (Photo by Jackson Hill)

Bromwich will solicit input from the general public, state and local leaders and experts from academia, the environmental community, and the oil and gas industry.

The event will be held in McAlister Auditorium on the uptown campus from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Limited seating will be available, with the first 300 members of the public admitted. Panel presentations and discussions are scheduled as well as remarks by Bromwich.

Audience members will be able to submit written statements to the bureau, says Eric Smith, associate director of the Tulane Energy Institute at the A. B. Freeman School of Business, which was instrumental in bringing the event to Tulane.

Bromwich said, “We will engage the public and experts on these issues to determine what additional measures are needed so that deepwater drilling can proceed in a manner that is safe for crews, the environment and coastal communities.”

He wants to hear from citizens directly affected by the BP oil spill, as well as members of the conservation community and the oil and gas industry.

“We need to know that industry got the message,” Bromwich said, “and that they are quickly taking steps to ensure deepwater drilling operations are safe. They also have to demonstrate to us that they can contain a catastrophic blowout similar to the BP oil spill as well as respond appropriately in the event of another oil spill.”

Suspensions announced recently established a temporary pause of deepwater drilling to address issues related to drilling, blowout containment and oil spill response. The suspensions are set to last until Nov. 30, 2010, or until the government determines that deepwater drilling operations can proceed safely.

Bromwich is holding public meetings in seven states — Alabama, Alaska, California, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.