In a letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) today submitted his formal comments in opposition to the agency’s proposal to roll back several offshore drilling safety standards that the Obama administration put in place after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster.
The letter comes as the agency prepares to close the public comment period on its latest proposal to undo the Obama-era regulations put in place to prevent another incident like the Deepwater Horizon.
The public has until midnight tonight to submit their own comments on the agency’s plan. Once the public comment period has closed, the agency will work to finalize the rule.
Nelson, a long-time opponent of having oil rigs near Florida’s coast, said earlier this month that if the agency moves forward with finalizing this rule to roll-back the regulations, he plans to invoke a procedural rule known as the Congressional Review Act to try to block it.
The Congressional Review Act gives Congress the power to overturn an agency’s final rule. As a result, any lawmaker seeking to block an agency rule from taking effect can file a so-called Resolution of Disapproval within 60 days of that final rule being sent to Congress. If a Resolution of Disapproval is approved by a majority in both the House and Senate and signed into law by the president, the agency’s rule would be overturned.
A copy of Nelson’s letter to Zinke is available here.