After The New York Times revealed a BP oil drilling project off the coast of Alaska yesterday, Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., asked the new director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy (the old Minerals Management Service), to halt BP's plans because of the risk involved. The Times reports this morning:
The project, known as Liberty, involves drilling two miles under the sea and then six to eight miles horizontally to reach what is believed to be a 100-million-barrel reservoir of oil. Regulators granted the operation status as an "onshore" project even though it is about three miles off the coast. The reason is because it sits on an artificial island built by BP.
"Considering the risky nature of the project," the senator's office said in a statement, "Lautenberg asked the administration to put the project on hold until a full investigation into the causes and effects of the BP gulf spill are completed, a new analysis of the Liberty project is conducted, and new laws and regulations governing drilling are in place."