A year after the Gulf oil spill, Congress has not passed a single bill to improve offshore drilling safety. What is the likelihood that this Congress will enact legislation to increase offshore drilling regulations or financial liability limits for oil companies?
- Very Likely 0%
- Somewhat Likely 15%
- Somewhat Unlikely 39%
- Very Unlikely 43%
- Volunteered 2%
"But unlikely that it will do much to actually improve safety."
“House Republicans have acquired oil spill amnesia and jumped right back into the 2008 'Drill, Baby, Drill' routine. They show no interest in actually implementing any of the recommendations of the BP Spill Commission.”
“The key on whether a big energy bill moves is whether gasoline prices are seen as too high for too long so that Congress feels like it must 'do something,' and whether each party can be perceived as 'doing something' by taking positions or voting on legislation that has no chance of becoming law, or whether it is actually necessary to enact law to be seen as acting; both parties seem to have calculated that the perception of doing something is unrelated to enactment of legislation, which explains the studious determination for Senate Democrats and House Republicans to do very different things on energy in recent weeks, a Kabuki dance intended to avoid agreement and new law.”
“As long as Congress continues to link offshore drilling safety matters with tax increases and environmental riders, a bipartisan agreement seems unlikely.”
“Both on drilling safety and financial liability. I suppose some of this could be addressed in a budget bill of some sort, but not likely that it will done in separate legislation.”
“The Senate has been on the same bill since March, the only items that pass are the must move provisions and even then it’s going to require the POTUS to push Reid to accomplish.”
“It is a sad statement that a year after most Americans were highly focused on the need to protect the Gulf, attention has turned, instead, to enhancing drilling activity in order to (purportedly) impact world oil prices. The new House leadership has no interest in enhancing regulations.”
“This will happen only if it is coupled with a meaningful deal to allow more access to offshore resources and a predictable permitting process, and I think the politics are just too hard.”
“Zero to none. With Interior slowly moving forward, the only thing that would pass in some sort of deal would codify the new admin. regs. [already in place] and speeding up the permit timeline.”
Will gasoline prices reach new record highs this year, surpassing the 2008 record of $4.11 for a gallon of regular?
- Yes 54%
- No 46%
"Is $5 the new $4? The public may be screaming, but they’re still driving."
"Yes, probably. But who knows? It’s a global marketplace and the issues that affect prices are nearly impossible to predict. That’s why it’s such a volatile commodity and why we should be working to wean ourselves off it."
"I believe gasoline will surpass the record this summer, and that we will see $4.50 gasoline this summer. At that point I believe the oil companies will be forced to moderate pricing or risk having their profits attacked by legislators"
"The answer depends on what the future holds for the global market price of oil, foreign policy developments, and guessing the weather (read: hurricanes in the Gulf or earthquakes on the West Coast). If I could predict any of these, I would be engaged in a frenzy of speculation trading from a beach located in a country without U.S. extradition instead of answering this question."
"I’m not convinced that the economy has come back enough to allow gasoline prices to go that high; every time it gets close to that point it retreats."
"Of course there is great uncertainty in any prediction about oil prices, so the 'no' response is not a confident one, especially given that we are already so close to that record."
"The answer really depends on the political stability of the Middle East and North Africa. At the moment, it does not look like further destabilizing events will occur. But if Saudi Arabia is hit with substantial unrest, then all bets are off on the price of oil."
National Journal’s Energy and Environment Insiders Poll is a periodic survey of energy policy experts. They include:
Jeff Anderson, Paul Bailey, Kenneth Berlin, Denise Bode, Kevin Book, David Brown, Neil Brown, Stephen Brown, Kateri Callahan, McKie Campbell, Guy Caruso, Paul Cicio, Douglas Clapp, Eileen Claussen, Steve Cochran, Phyllis Cuttino, Kyle Danish, Lee Dehihns, Robbie Diamond, Bob Dinneen, Sean Donahue, Jeff Duncan, John Felmy, Mike Ference, David Foster, Josh Freed, Don Furman, Paul Gilman, Richard Glick, Kate Gordon, Chuck Gray, Jason Grumet, Christopher Guith, Lewis Hay, Jeff Holmstead, David Holt, Skip Horvath, Bob Irvin, Bill Johnson, Gene Karpinski, Joseph T. Kelliher, Brian Kennedy, Kevin Knobloch, David Kreutzer, Fred Krupp, Tom Kuhn, Mindy Lubber, Frank Maisano, Drew Maloney, Roger Martella, John McArther, Mike McKenna, Bill McKibben, David Miller, Kristina Moore, Richard Myers, Aric Newhouse, Frank O'Donnell, Mike Olson, T. Boone Pickens, Thomas Pyle, Hal Quinn, Rhone Resch, Barry Russell, Joseph Schultz, Bob Simon, Scott Sklar, Bill Snape, Jeff Sterba, Christine Tezak, Susan Tierney, Andrew Wheeler, Brian Wolff, and Todd Young.