Right Hooks

Obama Hands Down Rules for Offshore Drilling

An American energy future powered by sunshine and unicorns?

Business Review Board · Apr. 16, 2016
Photo by TheConduqtor, Wikimedia Commons

In another attempt to “fundamentally transform” the energy industry, Barack Obama’s Interior Department handed down a rule last week that “comprehensively” addresses safety on offshore oil rigs. In the words of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, “Through this rule, we’re requiring more stringent design requirements and stricter operating procedures for critical equipment used in offshore energy development.” This critical equipment includes blowout preventers, for example, and the rules are designed to avert another incident like the Deepwater Horizon explosion in 2010. At least a portion of the oil industry, however, warns that the rules will actually increase danger on rigs and will cost American drilling jobs. It’s part of Obama’s legacy trying to make an American energy future powered by sunshine and unicorns.

Meanwhile, the coal industry is crumbling under Obama’s energy rules. Another coal giant, Peabody Energy Corp., has filed bankruptcy, following a handful of other monoliths working in the American mountains. It’s a travesty because coal could otherwise continue to be a key player in the American economy because innovation has reduced its emissions so it’s cleaner than ever before. “America is the Saudi Arabia of coal,” Investor’s Business Daily notes. “We have an estimated 500 years supply of that energy source. Our coal is cleaner and our environmental laws are much stricter than in other nations. So for economic and ecological reasons, we should want American coal to dominate the world market.” Hopefully, the next administration recognizes the benefits of sending the blue-collared miners back to work. Our energy and economic security depends on it.

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