- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Obama administration will issue sweeping new regulations Thursday for offshore oil and natural gas drillers, potentially costly requirements to prevent environmental disasters such as the BP accident and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico six years ago.

Sources familiar with the rule-making said the Department of Interior will release the final version of its well control regulations, requiring more stringent procedures for offshore drilling equipment. Interior is estimating the cost of the new regulations at about $1 billion over 10 years.

Oil companies including Exxon Mobil Corp. and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. have fought the mandates, warning they cost drillers tens of billions of dollars and could scale back drilling in the Gulf, a major source of domestic oil production.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, Louisiana Republican, told reporters Wednesday that the “one-size-fits-all rule from Washington could actually make it less safe for drilling.”

“That’s the last thing we need at a time when we’re closer to energy independence — when our country is creating thousands of jobs,” Mr. Scalise said. “We don’t need a rule from Washington that actually makes it harder to drill safely for American energy.”

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