Thursday, June 24, 2010

BURN: Regulated To Stupid

The Federal government regulates oil drilling activities very heavily.  Virtually every procedure requires approval by a regulator, and some regulations in place in the Gulf simply required stupid.

Barack Hussain Obama, from the Oval Office, tilted with his friend, Mr. Straw Man.  He implied that oil exploration in the U.S. was an unregulated, full-tilt boogey exercise in rapacity--
One place we’ve already begun to take action is at the agency in charge of regulating drilling and issuing permits, known as the Minerals Management Service.  Over the last decade, this agency has become emblematic of a failed philosophy that views all regulation with hostility -- a philosophy that says corporations should be allowed to play by their own rules and police themselves.
As we've noted before, we know Obama was lying because his lips were moving.  No such philosophy exists, and certainly not in the real world of oil exploration.  Indeed, many of the players in the industry are better, more responsible actors than the regulators and "scientists" who staff the agencies supposed to police the rapacious thugs.  The government players respond to perverse incentives, and those produce monstrous results.

From a WSJ piece today:
BP PLC and other big oil companies based their plans for responding to a big oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on U.S. government projections that gave very low odds of oil hitting shore, even in the case of a spill much larger than the current one.
The government models, which oil companies are required to use but have not been updated since 2004, assumed that most of the oil would rapidly evaporate or get broken up by waves or weather. In the weeks since the Deepwater Horizon caught fire and sank, real life has proven these models, prepared by the Interior Department's Mineral Management Service, wrong.
MMS said in early 2000, in a notice to lessees, that it planned to require oil companies operating in deep-water to use new oil-spill predictions specifically designed for deep water.
That regulation never came into effect. Oil companies today still base their contingency plans on the government's models, designed only for surface spills.
Exxon Chief Executive Rex Tillerson pointed out that much of the company's response plan "is prescribed by regulation, including the models that are used to project different scenarios for oil spills."
In other words, not only is the oil industry VERY regulated, but (like most heavily regulated fields) it is fighting an over-burden of useless...or even imposed by its regulators.  Oil drilling interests had to have a plan.  But that plan had to be based on what the regulators told them to base it on, which was a known pile of manure (scientifically).

Concurrently, the Federal government was MANDATED to have a tested, tried, and viable plan IN PLACE for dealing with a spill...FROM WHATEVER SOURCE.  It seems no great leap of conjecture to conclude that one branch of bureaucratic mush was relying on another Federal branch of bureaucratic mush in formulating the plan the LAW required of them.

As noted here before, this is precisely what one expects to see from BIG GOVERNMENT.  Far from protecting the environment...or its borders...or its law-abiding puts them at greater risk, partly though the delusion that regulation is working.


  1. Another bullseye Rags.

    And leave us not forget the real reason for deep water high risk/low yield drilling - regulators prohibiting drilling on the shallow shelf - led in Florida by TA-DAAAA Lindsay Graham, not-so-coincidentally the co-chair of Barry's spiffy commission to review govt drilling regs. So the regs on oil will now be "evaluated" by a commission selected for their idealism rather than any rational/scientific/engineering expertese. Krauthammer nailed it. The conclusion is already written. They just need folks to write it. Other notable clueless, oil-challenged, tree-hugging, greeny/weenie folks on the team:

    --Co-chairman: William K. Reilly, former Environmental Protection Agency administrator --Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council.
    --Donald Boesch, president of the University of Maryland's Center for Environmental Science.
    --Terry Garcia, a National Geographic Society executive and former chief lawyer at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under President Bill Clinton.
    --Cherry Murray, dean of Harvard's engineering school and former president of the American Physical Society.
    --Frances Ulmer, chancellor of the University of Alaska, Anchorage, and former Democratic lieutenant governor of Alaska.
    --Fred Gorski, Janitor at Chicago City Hall.

    OK, I made up the last one. But he may be the most qualified to make a rational evaluation.

  2. Don't you just wonder, Swede, how stupid can get via the voluntary embrace of dogma?

    Excellent comment, BTW. I learned a lot.

    Rush is just saying some stuff from Nappy Jan that I just HAVE to verify...!!!!