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Regulatory capture by default: Offshore exploratory drilling for oil and gas
Portman, M.E. (2014). Regulatory capture by default: Offshore exploratory drilling for oil and gas. Energy policy 65: 37-47.
In: Energy Policy. Elsevier: Guildford. ISSN 0301-4215; e-ISSN 1873-6777, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    Regulatory capture; Offshore gas drilling; Temporal and spatial vacuums; Marine spatial planning

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  • Portman, M.E.

    This article examines a form of regulatory capture that occurs when significant ambiguity exists regarding the environmental protection standards for new types of activities in the marine environment. To begin with, there is little research that categorizes the typologies of regulatory capture despite the ubiquity of the phenomenon. After a discussion of theoretical approaches to regulatory capture, I describe the operative definition and theory appropriate to the situation related to authorization of oil and natural gas production in Israel following the discovery of large offshore reserves in 2010. This approach, embodying several facets of existing typologies, is applied to decisions made authorizing construction of the Gabriella offshore exploratory drilling platform. The analysis highlights the nature of capture in the absence of clear agency jurisdiction over new activities located in offshore environs organized as temporal and spatial “vacuums”. I conclude that comprehensive marine spatial planning would result in less capture and the development of more capture-resistant regulations.

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