Repub­li­can House Whip Steve Scalise is a “rock star” to the oil and gas in­dus­try

Steve Scalise U.S. House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives (R-La.)

Bloomberg Businessweek (Asia) - - CONTENTS - Jen­nifer A. Dlouhy

For oil and gas com­pa­nies plumb­ing U.S. wa­ters in the Gulf of Mex­ico, Scalise is a pow­er­ful ally. He’s lured Repub­li­can and Demo­cratic col­leagues onto he­li­copters bound for re­mote rigs to con­vince them of the im­por­tance of off­shore drilling and the risk of reg­u­lat­ing it from Washington. Since last April, he’s been fight­ing to over­turn a new Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion drilling rule. ▶ Scalise’s dis­trict en­com­passes the full spec­trum of oil and gas de­vel­op­ment. The in­dus­try is the top con­trib­u­tor to his 2016 re­elec­tion bid and has given $197,000 so far, ac­cord­ing to the Cen­ter for Re­spon­sive Pol­i­tics, a Washington cam­paign watch­dog. “He’s a rock star on our stuff,” says Stephen Brown, vice pres­i­dent for fed­eral gov­ern­ment af­fairs at oil re­finer Te­soro. ▶ ExxonMo­bil says the Obama reg­u­la­tion, which will im­pose tough re­quire­ments for coastal wells and emer­gency equip­ment meant to keep them in check, could cost as much as $25 bil­lion over 10 years and limit drilling in the Gulf. The ad­min­is­tra­tion re­buffed Scalise’s calls to de­lay the rule by six months for more pub­lic com­ment. The con­gress­man has vowed to keep push­ing for leg­is­la­tion to over­turn it. “Every­thing is on the ta­ble,” he says.

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