In government and journalism it’s usually considered bad form to paraphrase another group’s name in a news release or article. You’re supposed to refer to the group at least once by the name it chooses to call itself and then shortening is OK. (Shortening for headlines is understandable, however.)
This old rule of civility came to mind this morning as we read the media advisory from the Department of Interior about Secretary Ken Salazar’s visit to Lousiana to meet with people affected by the Obama Administration’s drilling moratorium. From the advisory, headlined, “Salazar to Meet with Shallow Water Drilling Coalition in Louisiana“:
HOUMA, LA - On Monday, November 22 Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Assistant Secretary Tom Strickland, and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) Director Michael R. Bromwich will meet with representatives of the shallow water drilling coalition. Following the meeting, Secretary Salazar will hold a brief media availability to discuss ongoing efforts to improve the safety of offshore drilling.
The group calls itself the Shallow Water Energy Security Coalition. From its info page:
Our nation’s jobs and energy security remain at risk due to a regulatory blockade that is being imposed by the Obama administration on America’s energy producers. Unless regulators start issuing permits and plans for safe oil and gas drilling, we cannot produce the energy America needs.
Unfortunately, the federal officials at the Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has imposed a “one size fits all” approach to permitting that ignores the strong track record of the shallow water drilling industry. The recent history of shallow water permitting in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico is a cautionary tale for those who profess optimism about the end of the deepwater drilling moratorium. Although the moratorium on shallow water drilling was lifted in May 2010, permit approvals have been nominal.
Obviously the coalition promotes drilling, but its arguments also represent legitimate advocacy for energy security.
It’s understandable that Interior staff are cranky about the Secretary being maneuvered into this meeting by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), but it’s only polite to refer to the organization you’re meeting with by its real name.