Members of Louisiana's Delegation Lead Effort to Stop BSEE Well Control Rule

 Photo source: lifelinestrategies.com

Photo source: lifelinestrategies.com

The text of the letter is below and the signed letter with several members of Louisiana's DC delegation can be found here.

Dear Chairman Calvert and Ranking Member McCollum:

We write to urge you to include language in the upcoming Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2017 which would prohibit the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) from using appropriated funds to implement the proposed rule "Oil and Gas and Sulphur Operations in the Outer Continental Shelf - Blowout Preventer Systems and Well Control," or any substantially similar rule or guidance.

Since the horrific accident on the Deepwater Horizon rig in 2010, the federal government and the industry have made a continuous effort to improve safety offshore - enhancing regulations and standards on safety and environmental management systems as well as offshore equipment and operations, including well design and well control, to protect workers and the environment.

While BSEE contends that this rule has been proposed in order to improve safety in the offshore energy industry, experts and engineers agree that this proposed rule could instead result in decreased safety and increased risks in drilling operations because of the highly prescriptive, one-size-fits-all nature of the rule.

Although the rule is currently under review at the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs within the Office of Management and Budget, we believe it is imperative Congress act now to prevent further implementation of this devastating rule and prohibit BSEE from using appropriated funds for this or any substantially similar rule.   Accordingly, we ask that you include language similar to the following in the respective Appropriations Acts:

“SEC. __. None of the funds made available by this or any other Act may be expended by the Secretary of the Interior (referred to in this section as the “Secretary”) to implement or enforce any regulations issued after March 1, 2016, that address any subject of the proposed rule entitled “Oil and Gas and Sulphur Operations in the Outer Continental Shelf – Blowout Preventer Systems and Well Control” (80 Fed. Reg. 21504 (April 17, 2015)) (referred to in this section as the “Well Control Rule”) unless and until the Secretary—

(a) writes a revised version of the Well Control Rule that incorporates the information learned from additional technical workshops with industry experts;

(b) provides notice and an opportunity for public comment, for at least 180 days, on the revised version of the Well Control Rule; and

(c) issues a revised final version of the Well Control Rule”

We ask that you to consider the effects that this rule would have on important sectors of our economy, and we urge you to include prohibiting language in the upcoming Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2017.

We thank you for your thoughtful consideration of this request.  We appreciate your attention to this important matter.

Posted on March 22, 2016 and filed under Oil and Gas.