BP-probe panel releases final report

15 ideas for improvement

In its final report on the BP oil spill, the White House oil-spill commission unanimously called on the government to expand its drilling regulations and to establish an independent drilling-safety agency, according to media reports.

Last Tuesday (Jan. 11), the seven-person panel sanctioned 15 separate recommendations to offset future disasters, including increasing funding and training for the federal offshore-drilling agency; increasing oil-company liability; and taking scientific opinions about drilling more seriously. The panel also recommended that 80 percent of fines and penalties from the BP spill be dedicated to Gulf restoration—a recommendation that was backed strongly by environmental groups.

Those from the oil industry, however, criticized the panel for its distrust of the oil industry after one incident.

The commission lacks the authority to establish drilling policies, but its recommendations likely will influence future court proceedings.