Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Time to Consider Regulations

Shoe's On the Other Foot

Monty Python foot
 ~ Well, look who wants to take more time on regulations now.

After the BP Macondo fiasco the Obama Administration imposed a moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. There was an obvious need to reassess regulations and procedures, both for industry and for the government. Big Oil hated the moratorium and pushed relentlessly for its termination. Within a year they had succeeded, despite incomplete understanding of what happened and why, incomplete regulatory review, and incomplete preparations to prevent a recurrence. And, importantly, despite the design and promulgation of new safety and production regulations. The ceaseless refrain was that the Feds were taking too long studying and revising the regulations.

The insanely zealous drill-now drill-everywhere American Petroleum Institute (API) lead the way, with its bevy of "directors" issuing press releases daily decrying the supposed loss of jobs, economic benefits, American competitiveness, etc. The facts didn't much intrude on the Chicken Little antics, but never mind.

In a not-so-rare piece of unconscious irony, the API now urges a delay in issuing regulations, because they need more time to study them.

In a call with reporters today, API director of regulatory and scientific affairs Howard Feldman claims the industry doesn’t oppose the rules that aims to “help manage” emissions.

“But we are concerned that, unless properly crafted, they could hamper our ability to meet the nation’s energy needs,” Feldman said. “As EPA’s proposal stands today, we have questions about whether we’re going to get workable, practical rules that do not obstruct development.”
Meanwhile, the API is "educating" its members about the proposed rules. If the implementation is delayed 60 days, as the API is requesting, and more public hearings are held, I don't suppose the result will be throngs of oil industry workers and their families bused in at API expense to spout anecdotal nonsense about the oil industry lifestyle and the big bad gummint, do you? Nah. It's not as if the API has done that before or anything.

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