Monday, August 22, 2011

Obama's Anti-Oil Drilling Policies -#3187 - Exxon Fighting Regulatory "Pirates" in Gulf of Mexico - Hot Air

Jazz Shaw and I have repeatedly made the argument here at Hot Air that we could create hundreds of thousands of jobs, deliver cheaper energy, and reduce the outflow of hundreds of billions of dollars overseas with an energy policy that encourages domestic exploration and extraction in oil, natural gas, and coal. At the very least, we could stop killing existing jobs by getting out of the way of the exploration and extraction that’s going on now, on land and offshore. Unfortunately, Exxon has discovered firsthand what it’s like to deal with what Investors Business Daily calls “regulatory pirates” in the Gulf of Mexico:  ExxonMobil, and its Norwegian partner Statoil made the biggest discovery of all — a field worth a billion barrels of oil — 7,000 feet below sea level in its “Julia” field in 2007.  Exxon tried to keep its discovery secret to keep marauders away. Sadly, the pirates in this instance are U.S. regulators — and their aim is to stop them.  That’s right: Instead of marvel at the continuing treasures of the New World, or hail the human ingenuity that made retrieval of so much oil possible, or simply quantify how this discovery will boost U.S. energy security, Interior Department bureaucrats moved instead to snatch Exxon’s permits and shut the whole thing down.  Employing an extreme technicality, these regulators claimed that Exxon’s request in 2008 for a short suspension of activity to upgrade and make safer its drilling operation amounted to an abandonment of three of its five permits, simply because Exxon hadn’t signed a contract with another partner, Chevron, by the time the suspension was completed.  Read more........

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