Posted January 25, 2011
The Washington Post: Many steps have been taken to make deepwater drilling safer: Months before the White House oil spill commission's report on the Gulf of Mexico accident, the U.S. oil and natural gas industry had produced guidance on well cementing, begun a new standard on deepwater well construction, seen its safety management practices adopted into government rules, started an effort to produce state-of-the-art well containment systems, held workshops on implementation of a safety case (a comprehensive safety management system) and initiated work on an independently audited safety body. Critics discount these efforts, but these sensible changes, along with carefully improved regulations and the industry's existing best practices, are the best way to enhance offshore safety. No one works harder on offshore safety than the millions of men and women who work in this industry, and government data reflect this consistently improved performance. The number of injuries per hours worked - the most reliable and statistically relevant indicator of safety - is steadily trending downward and shows our industry to be safer than our global competitors, and safer than most American businesses. To suggest that the incident data - or even one horrifying but unprecedented accident - prove that the U.S. offshore industry was "stunningly complacent" ignores the facts. Politico: Poll: Americans want bipartisan State of the Union: A majority of Americans want to see President Barack Obama offer a bipartisan message in his State of the Union, according to a new poll out Monday. Fifty-one percent of those polled ahead of the president's Tuesday address to the nation said the country needs "more bipartisanship and cooperation," while only 23 percent said partisanship is a "healthy part of the two party system."
The Foundry: Regulatory Costs Are Boiling Over: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been ordered to issue job-killing regulations that the agency and industry both agree are faulty and unfeasible. The EPA's blunder is an object lesson on the costly consequences of reckless rulemaking and regulatory excess. The impending regulations address emissions from industrial boilers and incinerators. Agency officials have projected that the new standards will kill (yes, kill!) between 5,000 and 10,000 jobs--and cost nearly $10 billion to implement. In contrast, an independent study by IHS Global Insight, an economic forecasting firm, determined that 16,000 jobs would be at risk for every $1 billion spent on compliance.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rayola Dougher is senior economist at The American Petroleum Institute (API), where she analyzes information, manages projects and develops briefing materials on energy markets and oil industry policy issues. She is the author or co-author of economic research studies covering a diverse range of topics including crude oil and petroleum product markets, gasoline taxes, energy conservation and competition in retail markets. In addition to testifying before federal and state legislators, she has participated in numerous newspaper, radio and television interviews on a wide range of issues affecting the oil industry, including crude oil and gasoline prices, industry taxes and earnings, exploration and production, and refining and marketing topics.
Prior to joining API, Rayola worked at the Institute for Energy Analysis where her research focused on carbon dioxide related issues and international energy demand and supply forecasts. Rayola holds a Masters degree in Economic Development and East Asian studies from the American University and a degree in History and Political Science from the State University of New York at Brockport.