While BP Eyes Return to the Gulf, Safeguards Debated

The U.S. government is issuing new deepwater drilling permits, ending a moratorium imposed after the spill in the Gulf of Mexico, even as it acknowledges the need for more changes to safety standards.

BP sought to assure investors this week that it expects to resume drilling in the Gulf of Mexico by the end of this year, but debate continues over the rules of U.S. offshore oil exploration—and whether new standards are sufficient to prevent another disastrous spill.

In fact, the federal government itself says that more needs to be done on deepwater drilling safety: "More change will surely come," Michael Bromwich, director of the U.S. Department of Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, said in a speech in Washington, D.C., on the eve of the first anniversary of the BP spill in the Gulf.

(Related: Gulf Oil Spill: One Year Later)

But Bromwich maintained that it is a "huge advance"

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