BP’s Atlantis Still Operating, Despite Warnings

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Nine months after members of Congress requested a thorough investigation of BP’s other major Gulf project, the Atlantis, lawmakers are still waiting for that report. The results of the investiation are now six months late, and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement says they’ll have to wait a little while longer. 

We’ve been covring the Atlantis for several months now. A whistle-blowing former contractor on the Atlantis first raised concerns that the platform is missing documents crucial to safe operation in 2009, and members of Congress asked the Department of Interior to investigate back in February, several months before the Gulf spill. But the Interior Department division charged with overseeing offshore drilling, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement, has now pushed back the release of their report several times. It is now six months overdue. In the meantime, documents released in the recent months have provided still more evidence that the platform was not in compliance with federal laws. Today, The Hill reports that the investigation is still underway.

In a Nov. 3 letter to Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), who has been dogging this issue, BOEMRE head Michael Bromwich said that while the agency has made “significant progress,” the report has been delayed indefinitely as “new information came to light” while they were finalizing it. “It is critical that this investigation be thorough and comprehensive,” Bromwich continued, without giving any specifics about what BOEMRE uncovered.

Despite the now multiple complaints an ongoing investigation, the platform continues to operate—and is doing so in deeper waters and producing more than triple the amount of oil that spilled from the Horizon site each day.

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In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

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