Oil Industry Leader Urges Revamp Of Environmental Regulations

WASHINGTON: Calling upon federal regulators to "strive for efficiency and fairness" in their rulemaking, American Petroleum Institute President Red Cavaney indicated earlier this month that the U.S. oil and gas industry will have spent more than $90 billion in the 1990s to comply with environmental regulations. Although he admitted that expenditures of that magnitude "are unavoidable in meeting environmental goals," Cavaney nevertheless says that the nation "can and must improve the pollutants-reduced-for-dollars invested profile of regulations." Otherwise, he warned a Washington energy conference on Oct. 1, the industry will have insufficient profit and ability to expand energy resources. "Refined product is expected to grow by about 4 million barrels a day by 2010," he says. "That means either heavy investments in new U.S. refining capacity or importing more product." Cavaney pointed out that profits in the industry averaged only about 2 cents per gallon of product sold during the '90s despite the industry's restructuring, adoption of pervasive new technology, and sweeping cost reduction.

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