Regulatory siege continues for oil and gas industry

Four more years for US President Barack Obama means 4 more years of regulatory siege on the oil and gas industry.

Obama’s reelection is, of course, momentous. It occurred without the president’s having diverted at all from the large-government, big-spending course set in his first term. While the conviction is commendable, the course is disastrous, however acceptable it evidently has become to a majority of voters.

For the oil and gas industry, the first Obama term was contentious. The second term will be worse. In it, the industry can expect:

• Continuation of the effort to eliminate tax preferences essential to the recovery of drilling capital and the industry’s competitiveness in capital markets.

• Federal regulation of hydraulic fracturing, which if implemented with the zeal characteristic of regulation in the first term will retard drilling in unconventional resource plays.

• Difficulty winning approval of large oil and gas projects.

• Slow oil and gas leasing of federal land, shortening of lease terms, and penalties for work government officials determine not to be expeditious.

• Revival of an Environmental Protection Agency proposal to toughen ozone standards.

Other problems loom. The Obama approach to energy consistently has been to discourage production and use of hydrocarbon energy and to encourage development and use of costlier substitutes. The president will feel no political compulsion to retreat from that cost-blind strategy in his second term; if anything he’ll press it even harder. Industry representatives in Washington, DC, will be busy.

More broadly and more importantly, the industry must adapt to a political swerve Americans have ratified by reelecting a president dedicated to governmental activism, astronomical federal spending, and heavy-handed regulation of business, especially oil and gas.

Americans have chosen political liberalism. They have chosen to be governed aggressively. They have accepted Obama’s fantasies about energy.

America’s political ideology has changed. It won’t change back until more than half of Americans who vote tire of funding more governance than most of them probably want.

(Online Nov. 9, 2012; author’s e-mail: bobt@ogjonline.com)

Related Articles

Price of gasoline important to US policy (sometimes)

09/19/2014

The price of gasoline is important in the making of US energy policy—except when it is not.

Is air transport a health threat? EPA will decide

09/12/2014

The US Environmental Protection Agency has the chance to demonstrate judgment when it decides whether air travel threatens humanity.

August jobs report shows gains as US slowly recovers

09/05/2014 The US unemployment rate fell by a tenth of a percentage point from July to August to 6.1%, level with June and down from 7.2% in August 2013. But ...

Industry a target as inversions revive talk of tax reform

08/29/2014

New talk in the US about tax reform should make oil and gas companies nervous.

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected