Most Americans would really like to not be unemployed right now, but none more than Gulf drillers, who, following months upon months of bureaucracy are still sitting, twiddling their thumbs, not drilling anything, while the Obama Administration’s panel of experts decides whether their industry is safe enough. But just in case you were wondering whether the Administration is doing anything to make the process easier, Jazz Shaw at Hot Air has found this gem buried in the President’s budget proposal.
The plan unveiled Monday includes “user fees to oil companies for processing oil and gas drilling permits and inspecting operations on Federal lands and waters.” It also seeks changes to royalty rates and “establishing fees for new non-producing oil and gas leases (both onshore and offshore) to encourage more timely production.”
The Interior budget plan calls for beefing up the agency’s ability to regulate drillers, while extending an olive branch by noting that “these reforms will also facilitate the timely review of offshore oil and gas permits.”
Yeah, you read that right. The tax proposal encourages attaching fees to new licensing applications to make the process faster. In other words, they would very much like your assistance when it comes to expediting your request. Or rather, they’d like a tip for their fantastic service approving your drilling request. That is, of course, on top of the host of other fees and taxes you’ll already be paying just for the fabulous privilege of drilling in American waters.
From now on, every time a member of the administration mentions being “pro-growth” in their quest to Win the Future, it might behoove Americans to ask exactly whose growth their supporting, because as far as Gulf oil drillers and their suppliers – like the gentleman in this YouTube video – are concerned, it’s not, you know, the growth of American industry.
Of course, the Administration maintains that their top concern is safety, and if they aren’t convinced that oil companies are taking the steps necessary to ensure that a second Gulf oil spill is absolutely impossible, then they’re not about to feel obligated to start distributing drilling licenses. Thankfully, the Administration’s endless stalling has given the free market time to remedy that particular problem.
A group of oil companies led by Exxon said Thursday it has built a system that can stop an undersea oil spill within weeks, a critical step toward resuming drilling in the deepest parts of the Gulf of Mexico.
The group said its combination of equipment and support vessels can contain a spill similar to BP’s massive gusher, which took almost three months to plug. Some of the equipment was used by BP in containing its well blowout last year.
That’s right. As it turns out, American innovation is still alive and well despite the Administration’s best efforts. Oil companies who understand that an environmental disaster isn’t in the best interest of their bottom line joined together to work on a way to keep from repeating BP’s mistake…and did. Exxon and it’s partners also welcomed the participation of government regulators in the development process, ensuring that the cap would meet and exceed Federal standards.
Thank heavens the government is here to protect us from these dastardly technological advancements. I don’t know what we’d ever do without their exceptional management skills.