Drilling regulators pull double duty as industry promoters.
- Drilling regulators pull double duty as industry promoters.
By Mike Soraghan Greenwire 1 December 2011
State oil and gas agencies across the country are straining to prevent a
flood of new drilling from harming human health and the environment. But
that's not really their job. Or at least not all of it. Their job is
also to promote drilling. And sometimes the law makes that their top
Wyoming regulators are expected to "serve" the industry. Pennsylvania's
Bureau of Oil and Gas says its goal is to "facilitate" development. And
nearly every other oil and gas agency has a mandate or mission statement
establishing increased development as a goal.
Critics of drilling have pointed out in the past that agencies are
underfunded and understaffed. But the agencies' pro-development goals
could also be among the reasons that state regulators punish violators
infrequently and levy minimal fines even when they do....
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