BP's Back in Deep Water, Baby!

| Wed Mar. 2, 2011 2:56 PM EST

On Monday, the Department of the Interior green-lighted the first deepwater drilling permit since BP's Deepwater Horizon rig blew up last year and ruined a big piece of the world for a lot of people for a very long time. But, as the National Journal figured out, nearly half of that well is owned by...BP.

"This permit was issued for one simple reason: the operator successfully demonstrated that it can drill its deepwater well safely and that it is capable of containing a subsea blowout if it were to occur," said the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement in a press release. Noble Energy, which owns 23 percent of the well, says that it will be responsible for handling all the operations of the well.

An agency spokesman says to "expect further deepwater permits to be approved in coming weeks and months based on the same process that led to the approval of this permit." That process includes, of course, meeting BOEMRE's much-touted "Important New Safety Standards," so there's nothing to worry about. Though the Important Standards can't require drillers to guarantee potential spills won't kill a bunch of baby dolphins or coat the ocean floor in a blanket of death long after a disastrous explosion.