Daily Archives: April 25, 2013
By Alan Caruba
Under President Obama, two women have been the director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Carol Browner, who served in the Clinton administration and was one of the “czars” Obama appointed; her acolyte Lisa Jackson, and up for the post is Gina McCarthy. Browner and Jackson went out of their way to conceal their internal communications from Congress and McCarthy lied to the committee considering her nomination.
How bad is the EPA? The Society of Environmental Journalists, on the occasion of the April 11 hearing on McCarthy’s nomination, released a statement that said, “The Obama administration has been anything but transparent in its dealings with reporters seeking information, interviews and clarification on a host of environmental, health and public lands issues.” The SEJ accused the EPA of being “one of the most closed, opaque agencies to the press.”
Apparently, the primary consideration for the job of EPA Director is an intense desire to destroy the use of hydrocarbons, oil, coal and natural gas, for transportation and all other forms of energy on which our economy depends. Obama, when campaigning in 2008, made it clear he wanted end the use of coal to generate electricity. At the time, fifty percent of all electricity was produced by coal and now that figure is in decline as coal-fired plants are being forced to close thanks to EPA regulations.
If Ms. McCarthy has her way, the cost of driving cars and trucks will go up in the name of protecting the health of Americans. As Paul Driessen, a senior policy advisor for the Committee For a Constructive Tomorrow, recently noted, “Since 1970, America’s cars have eliminated 99% of pollutants that once came out of tailpipes.” Joel Schwartz, co-author of “Air Quality in America”, points out, “Today’s cars are essentially zero-emission vehicles, compared to 1970 models.” The EPA’s latest attack on drivers is the implementation of “Tier 3 rules” intended to reduce sulfur levels to achieve zero air quality or health benefits.
Suffice to say that the air and water in America is clean, very clean. Whatever health hazards existed in the 1970s no longer exist. Like all bureaucracies, the EPA now exists to expand its budget and its control over our lives. The Heritage Foundation has calculated that Obama’s EPA’s twenty “major” regulations—those that cost $100 million or more annually—could cost the U.S. more than $36 billion per year. Obama’s EPA has generated 1,920 new regulations.
Don’t think of the EPA as a government agency. It is a weapon of economic destruction.
This has not gone unnoticed. A recent Wall Street Journal opinion by John Barrasso, a Republican Senator from Wyoming, noted that “During President Obama’s first term, EPA policies discouraged energy exploration, buried job creators under red tape, and deliberately hid information from the public.”
“Many EPA regulations,” said Sen. Barrasso, “chased microscopic benefits at maximum cost,” noting for example that “The EPA has proposed dropping the acceptable amount of ozone in the air from the 75 parts per billion allowed today to 60 or 70 parts per billion. The agency concedes that the rule would have a minimal effect on American’s health, but says it would cost as much as $90 billion a year. A study by the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation estimated it would eliminate up to 7.3 million jobs in a wide variety of industries, including refining.”
The other sector in the EPA’s bull’s eye is agriculture. Not content with laying siege to auto manufacturers, oil refineries, coal-fired plants, and all other energy users that might generate carbon dioxide and other so-called greenhouse gases, Barrasso noted that the EPA “has gathered personal information about tens of thousands of livestock farmers and the locations of their operations” which it then shared with environmental groups.
Writing in The Daily Caller, Henry Miller, a physician and molecular biologist and currently the Robert Wesson Fellow in Scientific Philosophy and Public Policy at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, characterized the EPA as “a miasma populated by the most radical, disaffected and anti-industry discards from other agencies,” adding that there was “entrenched institutional paranoia and an oppositional world view.”
“Unscientific policies and regulatory grandiosity and excess,” wrote Dr. Miller, “are not EPA’s only failings; neglecting to weigh costs and benefits is shockingly common, noting that “The EPA’s repeated failures should not come as a surprise because the agency has long been a haven for scientifically insupportable policies perpetrated by anti-technology ideologues.”
Marlo Lewis, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, writing in Forbes magazine, pointed out Gina McCarthy, the nominee to direct the EPA, “has a history of misleading Congress and the public about her agency’s greenhouse gas regulations. “At a hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in October 2011, McCarthy denied motor vehicle greenhouse gas emission standards are “related to” fuel economy standards. In doing so,” said Lewis, “she denied plain facts she must know to be true. She did so under oath.”
“The EPA has no statutory authority to regulate fuel economy. More importantly, the federal Energy Policy and Conservation Act prohibits states from adopting laws or regulations ‘related to’ fuel economy.”
The point of this exercise is demonstrate that the EPA is the very definition of a “rogue agency” for which neither laws, nor science, are of any consequence as it pursues policies that do incalculable harm at a time when the nation is deep in debt and in need of economic growth, not regulatory strangulation.
© Alan Caruba, 2013
Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (NYSE: APC) today announced its Phobos-1 well in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico encountered approximately 250 net feet of high-quality oil pay in Lower Tertiary-aged reservoirs.
“Our 2013 Gulf of Mexico exploration program is off to an outstanding start, as Phobos marks our third significant deepwater success this year,” Anadarko Sr. Vice President International and Deepwater Exploration Bob Daniels said. “Phobos is our first well in the previously untested Sigsbee Escarpment area of the Gulf of Mexico and successfully tested a significant four-way structure in the Lower Tertiary. Phobos’ close proximity to our Lucius project is expected to further enhance the economics of this potential future development.”
The Phobos discovery, located in Sigsbee Escarpment block 39, was drilled to a total depth of 28,675 feet in approximately 8,500 feet of water, approximately 11 miles south of Anadarko’s Lucius discovery, which is under development. Anadarko currently is incorporating the data from the Phobos well to determine future activities.
Anadarko is the operator of the Phobos discovery with a 30-percent working interest. Other co-owners in Phobos are Plains Exploration & Production Company with a 50-percent working interest and Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE: XOM) with a 20-percent working interest.
InterMoor, an Acteon company, has successfully completed a contract with Cross Group, Inc. that included the provision of heave-compensation services for the installation of a Cross 7.0 workover riser package (WRP).
An InterMoor compensated anchor-handler subsea installation method (CASIM) unit played a key role in deploying and recovering the WRP.
“The CASIM system enabled us to provide effective heave compensation and to recover the delicate WRP on a vessel without an active heave-compensated crane or stern roller,” said InterMoor vice president of business development David Cobb. “That was the only way to achieve the WRP installation from this vessel. The success of this project underlines the value of the CASIM system as a cost- and time-effective solution, and explains why more and more subsea contractors and operators are choosing it to facilitate the installation of workover packages.”
Each standard CASIM unit has a maximum stroke of 3 meters and can accommodate loads up to 50 tons.
The heave compensation operation was in water depths of about 140 meters and used Cal Dive’s Uncle John DP saturation diving vessel to install the 29-ton WRP. The project took place at East Cameron well 378#3, offshore Louisiana, USA. The Cross Group is conducting a plugging and abandonment (P&A) program in the field for EPL Oil & Gas, Inc.
This project demonstrates how InterMoor can provide cost-effective solutions for the installation of subsea workover equipment using vessels of opportunity. Operators trust InterMoor to be part of their P&A campaigns and to help them meet BOEMRE NTL No. 2010-G05 requirements for timely decommissioning of idle infrastructure on active leases.