The False Promise of Regulation
An examination by The New York Times highlights the chasm between the oil industry’s assertions about the reliability of its blowout preventers and a more complex reality. It reveals that the federal agency charged with regulating offshore drilling, the Minerals Management Service, repeatedly declined to act on advice from its own experts on how it could minimize the risk of a blind shear ram failure.
The libertarian skepticism of this kind of regulation is not based on blind faith in markets; it is based on open-eyed recognition of how regulation works (not) in practice.
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