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Posts Tagged ‘Bill Reilly

Oil Spill Commission Chairs Bill Reilly and Bob Graham interviewed by Ray Suarez at the Our Changing Oceans Conference

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National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE) kicked off the 11th National Conference on Science, Policy and the Environment: Our Changing Oceans conference in Washington, DC with an interview of Oil Spill Commission Chairs Bill Reilly and Bob Graham being interviewed by PBS News Hour’s Ray Suarez.

An MP3 audio file of the interview can be downloaded at this link from the W.H. Nuckols Consulting website.

The Our Changing Oceans conference continues through January 21, 2011.

Commentary on additional sessions at this conference will appear on this blog as the week continues.

The author is a scientist by training and the owner of W.H. Nuckols Consulting, an environmental policy firm.  
A bio for Mr. Nuckols is located at www.WilliamHNuckols.com

Written by Will Nuckols

January 20, 2011 at 6:59 am

Oil Spill Commission emphasizes its independence at its first public hearing in New Orleans

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Bob Graham and Bill Reilly respond to questions during a press conference during the second day of the Oil Spill Commission in New Orleans

Bob Graham and Bill Reilly respond to questions during a press conference during the second day of the President's Oil Spill Commission in New Orleans, LA. Photo by Will Nuckols 2010.

 

Today at the lunchtime press conference during the first meeting of the President’s Oil Spill Commission, Chairs Bill Reilly and Senator Bob Graham fielded questions from a range of local and national media.     

Questioned yesterday on the first day of the meeting about the intention of the Commission and whether they will focus on moratorium for deepwater drilling, the Commission chairs stated that they believed the issue of the moratorium would be handled best by the Administration, and that the Commission would be primarily forward-looking.     

Reilly stated that large part of the contribution of the Commission will stem from its findings on the future of oil drilling in the U.S. –  not just in the Gulf of Mexico, but also in other sensitive areas.  Reilly highlighted Alaska as one of those areas of concern.     

But today the Commission may have changed its approach just one day into its work. Noting the significant concern expressed by so many people on the moratorium – both concerns expressed by witnesses at the hearings, as well as by people the commissioners met during their trips to gulf communities over the weekend – Reilly stated that he has changed his mind about how much emphasis should be paid to the moratorium.     

While no commission findings have yet been made (the co-Chairs again emphasized that their commission is only two days old), there were pointed questions by Bob Graham about a blanket approach to shut down all 33 rigs. Graham likened the oil drilling moratorium to recalls in the airline business. He said that he had read about a Boeing aircraft window safety concern, when 12,000 planes needed to be inspected. Graham said, “I am sure they didn’t wait until inspecting the 12,000th plane before putting the first plane back in service.” Graham further questioned DOI’s blanket approach when asking “why can’t [DOI] do a rig by rig evaluation?”     

While these statements may be seen as Administration criticisms, I suspect this is exactly the independence that the President wanted when he set up the Commission. If they are to act as a commission of independent experts, examination of Administration decisions must be a part of the analysis if the Commission’s final recommendations are to be of the highest value to the President.     

The author is a scientist by training and the owner of W.H. Nuckols Consulting, an environmental policy firm.
A bio for Mr. Nuckols is located at www.WilliamHNuckols.com 


It is the first meeting of the President’s oil spill commission here in New Orleans

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TV and newspapers interview the Oil Spill Commission in New Orleans

TV and print media interview the President's Oil Spill Commission this morning before the 2-day public meeting kicks off in New Orleans. Photo by Will Nuckols

 

It is Monday morning here at the Hilton Hotel in New Orleans, and the first meeting of the President’s oil spill commission has begun its work, starting the clock on the six-month time frame for a report to be provided to President Obama on the causes of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and recommendations on how offshore drilling should proceed in the future, given lessons learned from this spill.  

Even before the meeting began this morning, reporters were pressing Commission members for comments. Co-chair Bob Graham was asked pointed questions about the role of the Commission’s work and how the knowledge they are gaining will be applied to decisions about the administration moratorium on deepwater drilling.  

Senator Graham was quick to state that while the Commission is just starting its investigation, representatives from the Department of the Interior have been examining issues connected to the moratorium for some time.  Further pressed by reporters from AP and Reuters about whether the knowledge the Commission gains could be released in some sort of an interim report, Graham laid out several areas that will be investigated by both the Commission and also by DOI.  

1. Was the BP Deepwater Horizon accident and spill an outlier, or are the conditions that they experienced and the procedures on the Transocean  drill platform representative of procedures and difficulties experienced by other offshore drilling projects?  

2. Was the federal oversight, primarily MMS oversight, sufficient prior to the accident on the Deepwater Horizon? Post-reorganization at MMS, is it now sufficient?  

3. Was the drill site itself, from a perspective of geological forces, a particularly dangerous site?  How does that site compare with other sites where drilling is, or plans to occur, in the Gulf of Mexico?  

While DOI has been examining these issues for some time already, Graham stated that the Commission will share recommendations it develops as they become available.  

Graham was realistic about the Commission’s ability to provide detailed comment immediately. “DOI has been looking at this for some time, and we are meeting for the first time only today,”  

***additional posts from New Orleans will be made over the next three days as the commission meets and receives comments. Stay tuned…..  

The author is a scientist by training and the owner of W.H. Nuckols Consulting, an environmental policy firm.
A bio for Mr. Nuckols is located at www.WilliamHNuckols.com

Written by Will Nuckols

July 12, 2010 at 9:18 am