Politics GAO raises concerns about government inspections of offshore pipelines
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© Reuters / Maxim Shemetov / Photo Photo Saudi Aramco, the oil giant has seen its value melt over $ 300 billion in two days . The Saudi Oil Giant Aramco raises nearly $ 12.4 billion with a consortium led by the US Fund EIG Global Energy Partners for the use of its oil pipeline network. A strategic investment for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which needs to attract investors to diversify its economy.
A report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) says that the federal government lacks "robust" processes to both ensure the integrity of active offshore pipelines and to deal with inactive ones that have been left on the seafloor.
The nonpartisan congressional watchdog found that the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) does not generally conduct or require inspections for active undersea pipelines, and also said that safety devices are not always reliable.
It said that the agency has worked with industry on new technology, but that there are limits on its use.
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On inactive pipelines, the watchdog also found that BSEE doesn't adequately account for safety and environmental risks for applications to decommission the vessels and has allowed 97 percent of all pipeline mileage to be left on the seafloor.
Specifically, the bureau doesn't fully weigh whether pipelines are "hazards to navigation and commercial fishing operations, unduly interfere with other uses of the [outer continental shelf] or have adverse environmental effects," the report said.
It also said that the agency doesn't ensure that companies that operate the pipelines meet standards for decommissioning them and that it also doesn't monitor their condition or location.
"The business model of drilling our oceans for a quick buck and sticking the public with the cleanup bill is coming to an end," House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) said in a statement on the report.
"Our oceans are there for all of us, not just oil and gas companies, and if they can't behave responsibly on their own, this Congress will be happy to step in and set some overdue boundaries," Grijalva added.
In written comments, Interior Department senior advisor Laura Daniel-Davis said that the agency, which oversees BSEE, "generally agrees" with the report's findings.
Daniel-Davis added that the department was taking steps to comply with recommendations in the report.
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The U.S. Senate should swiftly confirm Beaudreau for deputy secretary so he can help the nation realize offshore wind’s promise.Biden's pledge doubles down on the nation's previous Paris Agreement target, sending an unmistakable signal that now is the time to tackle carbon emissions. To meet that goal, we'll need significant clean power generation from untapped offshore wind resources - a responsibility that falls in part to the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), which oversees energy production on federal lands and waters. Secretary Deb Haaland has already made clear her strong desire to see renewables flourish under this administration.