Obama Administration’s Offshore Rule Reduces Safety, Hurts Offshore Energy Production

Obama Administration’s Offshore Rule Reduces Safety, Hurts Offshore Energy Production

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Obama Administration’s final offshore well control rule could reduce offshore worker safety and hurt future U.S. offshore energy development, according to Dan Naatz, Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Political Affairs for the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA).

“Offshore producers share the government’s goal of enhancing offshore safety and companies continue to work every day to make operations as safe as possible. However, after years of the U.S. oil and natural gas industry sharing technical information and areas of concerns in the form of formal comments, letters, and meetings with the Obama Administration, we are disappointed in the final outcome that federal regulators took on this offshore rule. This long-anticipated rule, half a decade in the making, was the federal government’s chance to get it right – to implement new offshore operating standards that would balance workable safety measures with the continued development of America’s rich energy resources. Instead, today’s highly prescriptive rule could result in unintended negative consequences leading to reduced safety, less environmental protection, fewer American jobs, and decreased U.S. oil and natural gas production.

“It is imperative that any changes to the current offshore regulatory framework must not compromise the safety of our workers, our environment, and our communities. Federal regulators should seriously reconsider the long-term impacts of this burdensome rule on the uninterrupted supply of affordable, reliable U.S. energy that so many Americans will need for decades to come.”

IPAA and a number of its industry trade partners shared the expertise of over 300 engineers and technical experts from more than 70 companies in their formal comments to the Department of the Interior on its proposed offshore well control rule. Last fall, IPAA President and CEO Barry Russell warned in the Houston Chronicle that the federal government’s offshore well control rule will impose new and unattainable costs on industry – an industry already under stress from the current low commodity price environment – while potentially reducing safety offshore. Last week, seven trade associations sent a joint letter to federal regulators reiterating several significant concerns and potential negative economic impacts the proposed rule could have on the future of U.S. offshore oil and gas development.

About the Independent Petroleum Association of America
The Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) is a national upstream trade association representing thousands of independent oil and natural gas producers and service companies across the United States. Independent producers develop 90 percent of the nation’s oil and natural gas wells. These companies account for 54 percent of America’s oil production, 85 percent of its natural gas production, and support over 2.1 million American jobs. Learn more about IPAA by visiting www.ipaa.org and following @IPAAaccess on Twitter.

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