May 3rd, 2010
05:11 PM ET
4 years ago

Durbin: New safety standards likely for offshore drilling

'There's a lot to be learned by members and perhaps new standards when it comes to off-shore drilling,' Durbin said in a conference call with reporters.
'There's a lot to be learned by members and perhaps new standards when it comes to off-shore drilling,' Durbin said in a conference call with reporters.

Washington (CNN) – Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin said Monday that because of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, he is "sure that this administration will come out with new standards for safety when it comes to any offshore drilling in the future."

"We're going to hold ourselves to very high standards because of this tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico. It's a good indication of the price that you pay if you don't," Durbin said in a conference call with reporters.

Asked if he could support new offshore drilling in the leading energy proposals from the Obama administration and key senators, Durbin acknowledged, "It's a hard case to make until you can get down to the safety issues."


Durbin, who has historically opposed offshore drilling, said he and other lawmakers have much to learn about new technologies that could have prevented the spill in the Gulf, such as an acoustic system that could trigger a plug for the blown well.

"There's a lot to be learned by members and perhaps new standards when it comes to off-shore drilling," Durbin said. "I don't think we're going to eliminate offshore drilling in the future, but any future offshore drilling is going to be held to much higher safety standards."


Filed under: Dick Durbin • Energy
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Frank in valparaiso indiana

    So how much is that blowout preventer that BP didn't want to use to save money going to cost them?

    Bush and Cheney did it to us again, weakened regulations on drilling. And we reap the consequences. Louisiana voted GOP. Deal with your votes.

    May 3, 2010 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  2. BADGER

    Why hasn't CNN gotten an interview with the Queen of DRILL BABY DRILL yet. Funny how these are red states that will get their beaches oil soaked. The same ones that in 2003 didn't need gov"t interfering with the oil business, getting rid of the 2000 mandate that these wells have a shut off.

    May 3, 2010 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  3. Pam, Eugene, OR

    Please just say NO to drilling.
    What is wrong with people who think that we can continue to do this to our planet. We must stop our demendance on oil. It will be many years before the Gulf comes out of this and that is assuming that it ever will.
    Spill baby Spill

    May 3, 2010 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  4. Hows that oil slick coming along drillers?

    Stop the drilling.Its insane to do the same thing over and over again with the same result.We have become a third world ghetto planet,between the trash and scum for people.

    May 3, 2010 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  5. Rick McDaniel

    Well yeah! Too bad you didn't think of that BEFORE you allowed the entire Gulf to be made into a disaster area.

    May 3, 2010 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  6. aunt Bea and Opie

    Wheres Red Adaire when we need him?IHe passed away.He would have used explosives to cave it in I think.

    May 3, 2010 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  7. Ancient Texan

    You tree huggers want to use what as a substitute until you can run engines on water, or sunflower seeds? We had numerous hurricanes in recent years with no oil spills. This one occasion may even be one of the Eco-Terrorist nuts who are always burning homes, or SUV dealerships. Wake up and live in the real world.

    May 3, 2010 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  8. Victim of GOP Taliban

    No the Republicans are so smart they think letting the government do nothing to regulate is the answer to everything. So we should trust Big Oil and every other business to do what's in the best interest for safety and the environment because they have such a great track record. NOT!

    May 3, 2010 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  9. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Duuuuhhh! Ya think?

    But wait, doesn't ANYONE want to block this type of legislation? Rethugs? Hello? Hey, how about a good old fashioned filibuster? What about the song "Drill, baby, drill" is that going out the window also?

    Barn door closing.....
    Jerks!

    May 3, 2010 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  10. RickFromDetroit

    Will new drilling standards include:
    [1] Long term effect of sea water on dormant wells. These wells will remain on the ocean floor for centuries.
    [2] How to cap a well if the drilling rig sinks on top of the well head and the underwater robots can't get to it?
    [3] A count of all capped wells on the ocean floor.

    May 3, 2010 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  11. Illinoistom

    Ms. Jackson, the head of the EPA (that's Environmental Protection Agency for you Obama voters), has spent more time on Comedy Central and reminiscing about Hurricane Katrina then she has implementing the 1994 protocol for dealing with just this kind of oil spill. This Administration reminds me more every day of the proverbial dog that caught the car.

    May 3, 2010 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  12. aproudmemberoftheunpatrioticmob

    That is of course unless these oil companies start contributing more to the democrats and Dick Durbin, sleazy, SEIU controlled, lying crook that he is.

    May 3, 2010 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  13. What is say Sarah Palin going to say now about drilling?

    If you're going to introduce new standards for drilling, how about setting a restriction on drilling to make sure it does not impact the food we eat?

    How about NO drilling within 3 miles of seafood fishing sites or wildlife breeding areas?

    May 3, 2010 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  14. Bob in PA

    Where is the EPA, shouldn't these standards already have been set and checked and enforced. Why on earth didn't the EPA require periodic testing on blow-out valves to make sure they stay operational ?

    May 3, 2010 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  15. Bob in PA

    One more thing – Mr. Durbin, it will take you years to understand the processes, keep your hand out of this mess.

    May 3, 2010 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  16. Four and The Door

    These disasters are completely unacceptable but also preventable. Hopefully what we will see are actual, useful and reasonable safety measures being put in place and enforced, not just bureaucratic butt-covering documentation and inspections.

    May 3, 2010 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  17. Stephanie

    Where in the world is this so call " Drill Baby Drill ," supporters & former gov. of Alaska with her goons hiding? Pres. Obama, just say NO to this drilling for now. This country have beautiful coastal shore lines that we enjoy from Washington to San Diego. Not to mention Maine to Florida. There's other resources you might be able to utilize other then foreign oil & destroying the pristine shorelines surrounding this land.

    May 3, 2010 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  18. Rob R

    I heard Sen. Lindsay Grahmm say he still supports drilling even after this disaster. He said, "When the space shuttle Challenger blew up, we still went back to space."

    Well, Sen. Grahmm, this just proves how stupid you are which is a given I guess coming from South Carolina.

    The Challenger disaster did not bankrupt NASA. It did not cause an epic environmental catastrophe. Entire industries did not have to close up shop because of it.

    Not to mention the fact that ANOTHER space shuttle blew up years later. So, obviously we are not good at fixing things that should be fixed.

    STOP OFFSHORE DRILLING. We need natural gas, wind, solar, etc.

    May 3, 2010 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  19. Voice of Reason

    Welcome to the bandwagon, Mr Durbin – where were YOU six weeks ago when we expanded offshore drilling?

    Spineless politicians falling over themselves trying to get in front of a camera and sound like they are denouncing SOMETHING – when in fact they're all taking money from the oil lobbyists... It makes me sick.

    May 3, 2010 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  20. ThinkAgain

    Ya think?!?!?

    And this time, make them mandatory, not voluntary.

    We have standards in place, but unlike the UK and Norway (where they also do a lot of offshore oil drilling), ours are voluntary.

    So the bean counters at the oil companies decide it's cheaper to take a chance on ruining the Gulf of Mexico and all the industries dependent upon it like fishing, shrimping and tourism (not to mention the wildlife), than to put in place voluntary safeguards like a remote-controlled emergency shut-off valve, called a blowout preventer.

    Ain't life sweet when all you care about is money?

    May 3, 2010 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |