WASHINGTON, June 7 (UPI) -- Washington is considering ways to make the process to get approved to work in the offshore energy sector easier, a regulator said.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement announced it was working on revisions to its permit process.
"We are constantly looking for ways to create a smarter, more efficient and more transparent permit review process," BOEMRE Director Michael Bromwich said in a statement. "Our goal is to make the process of submitting permit applications easier, reduce the time it takes to review permits and improve BOEMRE's communication with operators during the permit review process."
Republican lawmakers have criticized the offshore drilling regulator for dragging its feet on the approval process. Higher energy prices have sparked renewed interest in tapping into domestic energy resources.
Offshore drilling, however, is under scrutiny following last year's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. A well failed in the deep waters off the coast of Louisiana, sparking a fire that killed 11 workers and led to one of the worst environmental disasters in the history of the industry.
The BOEMRE said there are 24 permits for deep-water work awaiting approval and 18 others that were returned seeking more information about safety responses.