Obama Promises to End Regulation Agency’s ‘Cozy’ Relations With Oil Companies

May 14, 2010 Updated: October 1, 2015

President Barack Obama speaks alongside members of his administration, including Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano (L), Interior Secretary Ken Salazar (2nd L) and Energy Secretary Steven Chu (R), in Washington, DC, May 14, after a meeting to (Saul Loeb/Getty Images)
President Barack Obama speaks alongside members of his administration, including Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano (L), Interior Secretary Ken Salazar (2nd L) and Energy Secretary Steven Chu (R), in Washington, DC, May 14, after a meeting to (Saul Loeb/Getty Images)
President Obama has set forth promises to end the cozy relations between oil companies and the organizations that regulate them.

“For too long, for a decade or more, there has been a cozy relationship between the oil companies and the federal agency that permits them to drill. It seems as if permits were too often issued based on little more than assurances of safety from the oil companies. That cannot and will not happen anymore. To borrow an old phrase, we will trust but we will verify,“ said Obama on Friday, May 14.

Echoing the voice of BP executives, President Obama emphasized that the issue of focus was primarily finding a way to stop the oil spill, and not the size of the oil spill. Just as BP officials had repeatedly emphasized, Obama also pointed to the difficulties posed by a leak occurring at 5,000 feet below the surface of the water.

“Since no one can get down there in person, we know there is a level of uncertainty,” he said.
Research analysts have agreed with Obama that there is a level of uncertainty. According to the BBC, however, they have placed this uncertainty within a 20 percent margin of error of 70,000 barrels a day estimate.

If these calculations are accurate, then the amount of oil spillage could be at 56,000 barrels a day, more than 10 times the estimate provided previously.

While confusion abounds with regard to the actual size of the oil spill, President Obama has set forth a set of legal actions being taken by Washington. The White House has ordered that all deep water drilling operations be immediately inspected. Furthermore, no further permits will be given for new drill sites, so that a 30-day environmental safety review can be conducted.

Obama also promised to close the loophole that allowed some oil companies to bypass essential environmental reviews. He further announced a new examination of the environmental procedures for oil and gas exploration and development.