Saturday, April 19, 2014

How not to improve government

"Proof The Feds Are Stalling On Oil And Gas" is a boring article that isn't going to change anything about how the US Federal government handles drilling permits on federal land. It won't change anything because the approach used skips right past the foundations and prerequisites and goes straight to the charges.

To have effective, durable change, we would need to map out the entire process for drilling on federal land as a part of a larger project identifying what government does from soup to nuts. We need to insist on commitments for performance for each of them and normalize an expectation that the least efficient and effective things that government does will be heavily scrutinized for alternate arrangements.

Slow rolling permits is not something the bureaucracy is going to be happy to do when they know that to delay legitimate requests puts them at risk for unemployment. But that's not the world we live in. The world we live in has articles decrying oil drilling delays in an oil drillers website while the public blissfully goes about its business, in general rationally ignorant of the whole issue.

There needs to be a better way.