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Congressman Garret Graves

Representing the 6th District of Louisiana

Garret Graves on Final Well Control Rule: “This is why America hates our federal government.”

April 14, 2016
Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman Garret Graves released the following statement today after the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement released the Final Well Control Rule:

“The Deepwater Horizon disaster resulted in the senseless loss of life, and we need to do everything we can to prevent this from ever happening again.  It is also important to remember the company pled guilty to 11 counts of felony manslaughter and the court found that the operators were “grossly negligent” and “exercised willful misconduct.”  The court did not find a lack of rules and regulations at the time.  

The draft well control rule released last summer was the product of novices who clearly lacked even a basic understanding of offshore energy technology and conditions, and this entire process has exposed the dangerous combination of bureaucratic arrogance and bureaucratic ignorance.  The draft rule would have resulted in up to a 35% reduction in offshore energy production, a $50-80 million annual reduction in offshore energy revenues available for coastal restoration and hurricane protection in Louisiana, further bleeding of energy jobs in our state and increased reliance on imported foreign oil – none of which is good for America.

The premise of this rule completely ignores the progress in safety technology and processes made since the 2010 disaster. The Department of the Interior wrote the initial rule behind closed doors for four years, but gave stakeholders only a few months to provide expert comments.  Now, they are trying the same thing by providing only 90-days to begin enforcement of this new 500-page rule. 

This is why it is dangerous to appoint bureaucrats that have never spent a minute working in the real world in charge of programs like this.  We all support the safety of our workers and the environment, but this is no more than a thinly-veiled attempt by the Obama Administration to kill our domestic energy industry. The sad irony is that the technical errors in this regulation will likely put our offshore workers at greater risk.  This is why America hates our federal government.  

This won’t stop our efforts to reform and reverse the fundamentally flawed components of this regulation. January 2017 can’t come quickly enough.”