Big Oil-backed well-containment group hires lobbyist

11 06, 2012 by The Hill

The Marine Well Containment Co. (MWCC), a nonprofit consortium founded by large oil companies after the 2010 BP spill, has hired the Prime Policy Group to lobby on emergency response issues, records show.

It appears to be the first time that MWCC has brought on lobbyists, although the companies that founded it — ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Shell — have plenty of Beltway representation already.

MWCC is designed to quickly provide individual oil-and-gas companies with well-containment equipment in the event of a subsea blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, among other services. It’s part of an effort to avoid a repeat of the 2010 BP disaster that took months to contain with a series of ad-hoc efforts.

The Interior Department toughened drilling-safety rules after the BP spill, and companies seeking drilling permits must how show that they have access to subsea containment equipment.

Lobbying disclosure forms state that Prime Policy Group will be representing MWCC on “legal and regulatory issues related to emergency response” but do not provide specifics.