Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) Chief Executive Rex Tillerson said on Friday that byzantine federal regulatory processes were impeding oil and natural gas development, citing recent federal roadblocks to TransCanada’s (NYSE:TRP) $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline.
At the annual CERA Week conference in Houston, Texas, Tillerson told a group of energy executives that state and local governments can do a fine job of overseeing oil and gas activity while working with producers. According to Tillerson, the complex federal regulatory process “has become an obstacle to getting anything done,” while state and local governments, with their working knowledge of protection needs, can “provide us the roadmap with how to get something done.”
Tillerson noted the Obama administration’s recent rejection of TransCanada’s application for federal permission to build its proposed $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline. Environmental groups and some states expressed concern that the pipeline would create more dependence on Canadian oil production, which is notoriously emissions-heavy. Tillerson condemned the rejection of the permit as an “unfortunate decision” that was “a product of political calculations in Washington.”
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