Who are “You”?

Welding-safety regulations enacted under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act contain this definition: “You means a lessee, the owner or holder of operating rights, a designated operator or agent of the lessee(s), a pipeline right-of-way holder, or a State lesssee granted a right-of-use and easement.” In United States v. Moss, the Fifth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of criminal charges against a contractor based on this set of regulations, agreeing that “you” – as defined above, and applied consistently with relevant canons of interpretation – could not be read to include a contractor. Weighing heavily against the government’s position was a long history of “virtually non-existent past enforcement of OCSLA regulations against contractors.” No. 16-30561 (Sept. 27, 2017).

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