Obama Administration to Announce Tougher New Regs for Offshore Drilling

Obama administration officials tell ABC News that on Thursday President Obama will announce new measures the federal government will take to try to prevent any future BP oil spills.

Changes will be made to the way the government allows offshore drilling, the administration officials say, including new measures for the permitting process, new safety requirements for offshore rigs, and what was described as “strengthened” inspections for drilling operations.

The changes will be announced after the president receives a report from Secretary of the Department of Interior Ken Salazar on the safety issues that have arisen as part of the investigation into the Deepwater Horizon explosion on April 20. The 30-day review was ordered by the president after the explosion and is technically due Friday, though Salazar will turn it in on Thursday.

The White House and Obama administration has come under criticism for maintaining what officials have long described as a corrupted oversight process at the Minerals Management Service, the federal regulatory agency in charge of supervising offshore drilling, and for not being tough enough on BP.

The news of the president’s announcement was first reported by the Wall Street Journal’s Jonathan Weisman and Jeffrey Ball earlier tonight.

-Jake Tapper

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