The Obama administration has lifted the ban on deepwater oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, but it is also enforcing steps to make sure a disaster such as the Deepwater Horizon leak never, ever happens again.
The feds have outlined a bunch of tough new regulations and guidelines that oil companies must follow and adhere to if they want to drill.
We've gotten our hands on the proposed plans. Oddly, the mandates all seem to involve public relations instead of, you know, things that might prevent future spills. But it's obvious lessons have been learned.
1. All companies MUST have a scapegoat CEO in place before drilling is allowed.
Federal mandates require this CEO to a) speak in a foreign accent, b) Be completely tone-deaf to appearances, and c) have an easily enforced buyout. "The ceremonial firing of this CEO must take place within two (2) days of the President's first 'get tough' language holding the company responsible," the guidelines state.
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2. Estimates on leak flow MUST be at least half-assed guesses.
The industry is expected to howl at this provision, which is a complete and total win for the environmental lobby, half-assed guesses being a much stronger standard than the traditional "wild-assed guess" used in all other spills.
3. All spills MUST take place relatively near scenic California coastline.
Really, now -- one "vacation" trip to swim in the Gulf is enough for any White House.
4. All spills MUST have the same luck with Gulf hurricanes that the Deepwater Horizon did.
This "common-sense" provision has been criticized by some as being unenforceable, but it worked this year, didn't it?
5. Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) shall be designated lead spokesman for the Republicans on any spill.
This provision, sadly, is not expected to survive if the GOP ever gets back to the White House.