Friday, July 2, 2010

Drillers Enlist Legions of Lobbyists for Battle Over Offshore Regulations

Published: July 2, 2010

"The Gulf of Mexico oil spill has sparked a lobbying rush as companies involved in drilling seek help navigating new policies and influencing ones under development.

Companies ranging from small businesses that make safety equipment to a coalition of drilling interests are asking lobbyists to bridge connections with the Obama administration and members of Congress. Drilling companies hope to push the Interior Department to issue more drilling leases. Manufacturers want to sway new regulations on parts that include blowout preventers, giant safety valves such as the one that appears to have failed in BP PLC's Deepwater Horizon rig.

They have recruited lobbyists with connections, including former Rep. Robert Livingston, (R-La.), who at one time was in line to become House speaker; Norma Jane Sabiston, former chief of staff to Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.); and Margo Klosterman, former legislative assistant to House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio).

"We're reaching out and talking to anyone that will listen," said Jim Noe, senior vice president and general counsel at Hercules Offshore Inc., a Houston-based company that operates rigs used in shallow-water oil and natural gas drilling. "We're talking both to the administration and to Congress."' More>>>>

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