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Top U.S. oil and gas companies say regulations have little impact
Kathy Attar, MPH
March 23, 2017
A Reuters article published today revealed that 13 of the 15 biggest U.S. oil and gas companies reported to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that compliance with current environmental regulation has “little impact on their business.”
The oil and gas companies themselves are debunking the idea that regulation is strangling their industry.
We know that taking action on climate is a health imperative and cannot be delayed. However, the Trump administration is readying an executive order to roll back climate-protective, health-protective energy regulations.
Supposedly, the executive order, called the "Energy Independence" executive order, would bolster American energy independence. But most energy experts agree that supply and demand are the forces that drive the fossil fuel market, not regulatory policy.
And in fact, regulations that protect our environment enjoy majority support from U.S. voters. Fifty-nine percent of voters in a Quinnipiac poll opposed removing regulations that are intended to combat climate change.
The primary purpose of regulations is to shift the costs of addressing harm from the public back onto the industry that causes the harm. For example, without regulations preventing air pollution, the public bears the costs in terms of premature death, preventable cancers, increases in asthma and lost workdays.
Regulations seek to ensure that the creators of these health-harming effects assume the burden by preventing the harm in the first place. It’s only fair.
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