Double standards aren’t acceptable

Federal regulators demand that the rest of us, including individuals, companies and states, comply with rules intended to safeguard the environment.

Any energy company caught not performing environmental inspections on 2,000 oil and gas wells would be put out of business by the bureaucrats. Any state guilty of the same failure would find its authority over drilling canceled by the federal government.

But the federal Bureau of Land Management has failed to inspect more than 2,100 wells on federal and American Indian lands – despite having declared them to be high risks for environmental damage.

Government’s failure to obey its own rules is outrageous.

The Government Accountability Office has issued a report that concludes 3,702 wells drilled on federal or Indian land from 2009-2012 have been labeled “high priority.” More than 2,100 have never been inspected.

Bureau of Land Management officials are supposed to handle the inspections. The agency itself considers some wells “high priority” because of potential water contamination and other environmental hazards.

Again, no individual, company or state in America could get away with what the BLM has done. But because it is a federal agency, very likely no one will suffer meaningful repercussions.

That double standard should be corrected.