We are shocked—shocked!—over the possibility raised herein.
Ok, look. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that all regulatory law is basically written by lobbyists of the regulated industry. So this is easy to ridicule as some faux-naive cover-your-ass from deep within the lobbying-legislative-industrial-complex.
In fairness to Nelson, however, this is also a truth acknowledged so universally that it's not really acknowledged enough, on a day-to-day basis. So it might do some good to gin up outrage about Big Oil pressure on Interior, and industry pressure on federal regulation in general. (You'd think somebody would have wriggled out of the coal industry's pocket long enough to say something similar about mining safety requirements. Nope.) It would also be nice if this came back to reflect poorly on the Bush administration's decision to let the oil industry run Interior for several years, that time.