As Americans hurried home to avoid last weekend’s snowstorm, the Obama administration unveiled new regulations that, for the first time, propose strict mandates on drilling for oil in the Arctic Ocean.
The administration’s proposed Arctic offshore drilling rule will cost $1.2 billion — the most expensive provision being a requirement that oil companies keep backup rigs ready to dig relief wells if there’s a spill. The rule comes as the Obama administration has been making parts of the Arctic Ocean off-limits to oil drilling.
The oil industry has criticized the rule, saying that while it brings some certainty, it is costly and could stymie U.S. drilling in the Arctic at a time when countries like Russia, Canada and Norway continue to drill or plan on drilling more.
“Is America ready to be a leader in the Arctic for generations to come and what do we want our legacy to be?” Randall Luthi, president of the National Ocean Industries Association, said. “Will we continue to lag behind other countries such as Russia, Canada and Norway, all countries that have drilled or plan to explore Arctic waters?”
“Rules that take years to make tend not to reflect the best and newest technology being developed and used by industry on a daily basis,” Luthi said. (Read more about the arctic drilling HERE)