Report criticizes offshore oil and gas environmental agency

Louisiana News

FILE – This April 13, 2007, file photo, shows a natural gas platform off the coast of Fort Morgan, Ala. The federal agencies that make and enforce offshore oil and gas leases will encourage new wells in shallow Gulf of Mexico waters by allowing some reduced-royalty or even royalty-free production if owners can prove they need it. Officials say $20 billion worth of oil and gas may go untapped without changes described in a report issued Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Rob Carr, File)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal watchdog office says the agency in charge of offshore oil and gas environmental regulations doesn’t have a strong inspection program for working pipelines and doesn’t adequately make sure companies clean and bury those no longer in use.

The Government Accountability Office also says the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement has no clear source of money to remove abandoned pipelines that pose safety or environmental risks.

Monday’s report says the Interior Department agreed with recommendations to update regulations to ensure that active pipelines remain intact and to address safety and environmental risks of pipelines no longer in use.

The bureau said it’s reviewing the report and recommendations.

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