Hang On, America. Mr. Bromwich is Taking Us All on a Bumpy Ride

Michael Bromwich, Director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, granted an interview Thursday to The Hill. It was a strange trip through his thinking on domestic oil production, and his job performance.

A few of the trip’s highlights:

Bromwich said a bill to accelerate lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico “would be, I think, struck down by the courts…”

Bromwich should be an expert in this. The Obama administration’s own oil-drilling policies have been repeatedly struck down. The latest came this week when a federal judge ruled that the Obama administration has “unlawfully and improperly delayed” permit applications for deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

Bromwich said his utter lack of experience on oil and gas issues has been beneficial. “I think there are huge benefits from not coming from this world.

“I have asked a lot of questions on issues that were just taken for granted — they were the accepted ways of doing business here, they were the accepted practices and procedures,” he said.

Yes, there’s no one more effective than a boss who asks lots of mundane questions while employees are trying to get their jobs done. Perhaps this explains the anemic pace of permit approvals.

Bromwich said he is not trying to shut down offshore production in the United States. “What could my possible personal or political motive for that be? Am I going to get a gold watch if I shut down the industry? I don’t think so.

“Nobody from the White House or anybody else has told me to do my job in any other way,” Bromwich said. “And so for people to attribute political motives or a political agenda to me when I have none in this job, there’s just a huge space between those claims and the reality.”

We’re not sure which is worse: Stalling domestic oil exploration because of a political agenda, or incompetent leadership.

The effects, however, are the same. Businesses are closing, employees are losing their jobs and the price of gasoline is skyrocketing.

Mr. Bromwich need not worry about getting a gold watch for his work. Thanks to his efforts, Americans couldn’t afford one anyway.

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