Gulf Oil Spill? What Gulf Oil Spill?
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement released its new five-year plan for drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf on Tuesday, its first plan since the Deepwater Horizon spill last year. But BOEMRE's economic analysis used to create the plan does not factor in a 4.9 million barrel spill.
The 28-page Economic Analysis Methodology from BOEMRE looks at the net economic and social value of the proposed 5-year plan. As the paper states, "The largest social and environmental costs modeled for the 2012-2017 proposed program decision document are OCS oil spills and air emissions." The agency also includes this handy formula:
Spill risk = probability of spill x impacts of spill
But then the feds note that their analysis of this latest plan for offshore drilling does not include the Deepwater Horizon spill:
The spill rates and size of spills are based upon all OCS spills from 1964-2010 excluding the catastrophic Deepwater Horizon (DWH) event.
The BOEM is using the oil spill rate from the entire history of available program data, excluding DWH, as a rough balance between the remote chance of another DWH event and the otherwise much safer performance reflected in the more recent period.
Hmmm. I seem to recall government officials making similarly optimistic statements about the size and threat level of spills before the Deepwater Horizon.