Chris John: People tired of not being heard

the news starThe News-Star | August 11, 2016 | Chris John

To borrow loosely from William Shakespeare, these times can only be described as “the summer of discontent.” All across the country, in various circles, it is becoming evident that citizens feel strongly that their voices are not being heard or considered. Some of this is being played out on a national stage, while others may be less visible. Regardless, this issue is real.

During the last few weeks, the Republicans and Democrats held their national conventions. The common thread at both events was the scores of protesters voicing their displeasure in the candidates selected. Whether it was the “Never Trump” contingency or the Bernie Sanders camp, a large portion of media coverage focused on the participants’ ill will.

Lost in all of this, was the meaningful policy discussion that these conventions deserve. The takeaway from these events are that voters are not satisfied. Pundits attribute this to politicians losing their touch on the pulse of the electorate.

We are also seeing this in something as technical as rule making for regulations. All year, Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association has been actively engaged in trying to educate the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement on their disastrous “Well Control Rule” in meetings in Washington, D.C.

States were not consulted, and citizens were not given ample time to participate. BSEE initially offered a mere 60-day comment period on the proposal. LMOGA was part of the group that requested an additional 120 days to examine the length and complexity. We got 30 days. This shows arrogance in their decision not to engage with stakeholders and industry experts to determine the real impact. It is something we have grown accustomed to by federal agencies.

Read the full op-ed here.

Chris John is president of the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association.