Administration easing offshore oil and gas drilling rules

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Trump administration is easing rules imposed on offshore oil and gas drilling six years after the nation’s worst offshore oil spill.

An offshore drilling group praises the changes.

An environmental group says the changes raise the risk of more deadly accidents like the 2010 explosion on a drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico. The Center for Biological Diversity objects most strongly to rolling back a requirement for third-party inspections of offshore drilling safety equipment.

A notice in Friday’s Federal Register says the revisions will take effect Dec. 27.

The changes come as the administration is seeking to expand offshore drilling into areas where it is currently banned and has replaced an Obama-era policy to protect U.S. oceans and the Great Lakes with one emphasizing economic growth.

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