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May 24, 2010

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Observer V

I hear the ole four-legs-good, two-legs-bad knee-jerk. When you hear Salazar posturing about "pushing BP aside," who do you think steps in? The USG lacks oil industry expertise. I say this knowing full-well that even BP lacks oil industry expertise. They seem like a clown show in the drilling and certainly the clean-up. But the government knows next to nothing, even if you harness the brains of Secy Chu (a great guy), the DOE labs (legends in their own minds) and NASA (yeah, great example of brains, safety management, etc.) But another oil company's savant may know something and have access to needed expertise. If you want to cleanse industry expertise out of all regulatory and study activity, what you get is a really industry-dumb agency: SEC is the best recent example. Ya gotta harness industry expertise, have rigorous conflict-of-interest controls, and enforcement of same. No way around it.

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