CRE Comments on Proposed Arctic Drilling Rules

On April 24, 2015, the Center for Regulatory Effectiveness filed comments on the U.S. Department of Interior’s Proposed Requirements for Exploratory Drilling on the Arctic Outer Continental Shelf. The Executive Summary of CRE’s comments is set forth below (footnotes omitted):

“CRE earlier filed comments on the BOEM and BSEE Information Collection Requests (“ICRs”) for these proposed rules. CRE’s ICR comments are Document BSEE-2013-0011-0015 in this docket. CRE’s ICR comments are incorporated by reference into these comments on the proposed Arctic drilling rules themselves.

BSEE should take all actions necessary to correct the errors and omissions identified in CRE’s incorporated ICR comments. These actions include but are not limited to withdrawing the two ICRs addressed by CRE’s ICR comments.

In addition to CRE’s incorporated ICR comments, CRE makes the following comments.

BSEE’s proposed rules do not have an administrative record that supports them. The absence of a record is particularly true for the proposed same season response well (“SSRW”) rules.  There is no administrative record demonstrating the feasibility of SSRW in severe arctic conditions, and there is no record demonstrating SSRW’s superiority to other containment and response methods.

If BSEE believes that there is a record supporting SSRW for the Arctic, then BSEE should identify that record and allow additional public comment on it. If BSEE cannot identify such a public record, then BSEE should withdraw its proposed SSRW rules.

The National Petroleum Council’s recent report ARCTIC POTENTIAL—REALIZING THE IMPORTANCE OF U.S. ARCTIC OIL AND GAS RESOURCES (“Arctic Report”) provides extensive evidence against SSRW in the Arctic.

BSEE should reconsider its proposed rules and their Cost Benefit Analysis in light of the Arctic Report, including the Report’s conclusion that SSRW rules would create severe impediments to Arctic oil and gas activity.”

Click to here read CRE’s entire comments.

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