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Drilling chief wants higher fines for offenses

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Posted: Jan 13, 2011 12:47 PM
Source: Associated Press

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Topics: offshore drilling, civil penalties, drilling rules, Michael Bromwich, Interior Department's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Center for Strategic and International Studies, presidential panel, BP oil spill, Louisiana, Deepwater Horizon, Gulf Coast, Gulf of Mexico, oil rig, WBRZ

WASHINGTON - The nation's top offshore drilling regulator says his agency is considering ways to increase civil penalties for companies that violate drilling rules.

Current rules allow fines of up to $35,000 per incident per day.

Michael Bromwich, director of the Interior Department's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, says that's "patently inadequate to deter violations."

In a speech Thursday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Bromwich said legislation likely would be required to make meaningful changes.

Bromwich praised a report this week by a presidential panel investigating the BP oil spill, and said his agency has already begun many of the reforms the report urges.

He says the spill has shaken government out of "complacency and overconfidence" that
developed over many decades.

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