31 Alaska L. Rev. 231 (2014)
What about Boem - The Need to Reform the Regulations Governing Offshore Oil and Gas Planning and Leasing

handle is hein.journals/allr31 and id is 245 raw text is: WHAT ABOUT BOEM? THE NEED TO
REFORM THE REGULATIONS
GOVERNING OFFSHORE OIL AND
GAS PLANNING AND LEASING
MICHAEL LEVINE,* ANDREW HARTSIG,** AND MAGGIE
CLEMENTS***
ABSTRACT
The nature of offshore oil and gas activities is changing as companies are
forced into difficult and remote areas, including the U.S. Arctic Ocean. As
evidenced by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon tragedy and Shell's error-plagued
efforts to drill exploration wells in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas in 2012, the
rules governing whether and under what conditions to allow offshore drilling
in frontier areas have not kept pace with environmental and technical
changes. These rules were implemented in 1979 and have remained
substantively the same since. Recent changes to at the Department of the
Interior to disband the Minerals Management Service, improve certain safety
requirements, and move toward implementing Arctic-specific spill prevention
and response requirements are important steps. Those changes, however,
apply only after the decision to allow oil and gas activity has been made.
Congress has not amended the governing statute, and the agency has not
modified in any meaningful way the regulations that govern the initial
processes through which it decides whether and under what circumstances to
allow offshore oil and gas activities in a given area. This Article argues that
the regulations that govern offshore oil and gas planning and leasing should
be fundamentally revised to account for changes in the industry and agency,
remedy broadly acknowledged deficiencies, and reflect new administrative
policies. It also recommends a path to achieve the needed change.
Copyright @ 2014 by Michael LeVine, Andrew Hartsig, and Maggie Clements.
* Pacific Senior Counsel for Oceana, an international non-profit organization
dedicated to maintaining and restoring ocean ecosystems. He lives and works in
Juneau, AK.
** Director of the Arctic Program at the Ocean Conservancy, a non-profit
marine conservation organization. He lives and works in Anchorage, AK.
*** 2015 J.D. Candidate at New York University School of Law. The opinions
and ideas expressed are her own and do not represent the views of the School of
Law, her employers, or her supervisors.

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