Panel holds spill hearings
In New Orleans on Tuesday, it was the human cost of the spill, and the policies it has spawned, that dominated the second day of hearings by a new commission directed by President Barack Obama to study the rig blowout and its effects.
Much of the conversation focused on the Obama administration’s unveiling Monday of a revamped moratorium on deep-water drilling. Last month, a federal judge ruled that the administration likely acted “arbitrarily and capriciously” when it issued its original moratorium a few weeks after the rig blowout so that safety rules could be reassessed.
Administration officials hope the new moratorium, which they say is more narrowly drawn than the original, will pass muster with the courts.
It hasn’t won approval, however, with many Louisianans, who fear that a stymied offshore industry will cost the state thousands of jobs.
In a presentation to the commission, Charlotte Randolph, president of coastal Lafourche Parish, said the spill had devastated the local fishing industry and that the drilling moratorium was “adding insult to injury.”