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Still Regulating at a Snail’s Pace After BP Oil Disaster

April 13, 2015

Still Regulating at a Snail’s Pace After BP Oil Disaster

Statement of Amit Narang, Regulatory Policy Advocate, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch Division

Note: The U.S. Department of Interior today unveiled a new rule on offshore oil and gas drilling to try to prevent a repeat of the catastrophic 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The BP disaster cost more than $50 billion, disrupted the lives of millions of Gulf Coast residents, destroyed many local small businesses and devastated local ecosystems.

The fact that it has taken five years to get this rule out is an indictment of our regulatory process: It moves too slowly.

All of the hyperbolic rhetoric from the GOP-controlled Congress about so-called “overregulation” hurting our economy couldn’t be more wrong. Even in the wake of historic deregulatory disasters like the BP oil spill, our regulatory system takes far too long to address obvious safety gaps that hurt working families and consumers.

Instead of adding dozens of new hurdles to the regulatory process – as congressional Republicans are proposing – we need to streamline the process for developing, implementing and enforcing new protections.