We’re from the government, and . . .

It is axiomatic that if the federal government had realized five or six years ago that the technological advances in directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing that have set off the current domestic oil and natural gas boom were coming, they surely would have done something to stop it.  Now the greens and federal regulators are trying to play catch up: they can’t openly try to stop the boon of new domestic energy because its benefits (like cheap natural gas and 1 percent unemployment in North Dakota) are too evident, so they are trying to slow it up with “concern” about “issues.”

To be sure, there are some genuine concerns about groundwater contamination and wastewater disposal in cases of accidents, sloppy practices, leaky pipes, and inexact geological assessment.  In other words, life.  But when the regional administrator of the EPA shows up in North Dakota and says, “The bottom line is we want to work with you in identifying these issues and partnering to solve them,” does any sensible person respond with anything other than a horselaugh?  Riiiight: we helpful people at the EPA just want to be your helpful “partner” and “work together.”  Sort of in the same way a mob functionary says, “Nice little business you have here—shame if anything happened to it.”

Fortunately the good people of North Dakota seem to know the score, as this news story makes abundantly clear:

North Dakota’s top oil and gas regulator took aim at federal agencies Thursday for unnecessarily interfering with the state’s energy development.

Lynn Helms, director of the Department of Mineral Resources, said North Dakota’s approach is to let the market work and intervene when it doesn’t. In Washington, D.C., he said the approach is to write one-size-fits-all rules to cover everything that could possibly happen.

If the nation adopted North Dakota’s approach, the country could become energy independent, Helms said during the North Dakota Petroleum Council’s annual meeting.

But that’s exactly what the greens and federal regulators are afraid of.  If we really do become more energy self-sufficient, there’s less excuse for “renewable” energy boondoggles and crony payoffs.  (And just how did North Dakota get such a sensible fellow like Lynn Helms in its government?)

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