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  • Live from the Gulf: Government Attorney on Moratorium: The Environment Trumps Jobs

    Despite fears of how President Obama’s moratorium on deepwater drilling will devastate the Gulf Coast economy, the Administration’s lawyers claim that the damage to the economy must be disregarded:  Protecting the environment is the only issue that matters.

    Although the courts have lifted the moratorium, the fears that it will be reinstated are suppressing any new deepwater drilling, with or without the moratorium.

    Appearing before the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, lawyers for the State of Louisiana argued (PDF), “Should the Court extend the drilling moratorium for even a day longer, the State’s economic problems will only get worse, effectively turning an environmental disaster into an economic catastrophe for the State.”  Also, “Each day it is in place, millions of dollars of income are lost to the citizens of Louisiana, and by the State.”

    As the state told the court in its brief, “The offshore oil and gas industry, operating in the Gulf of Mexico outside of the territorial boundaries of Louisiana, has a tremendous economic impact on the State, estimated to be approximately $3 billion per year. This comes not only from salaries and wages of workers on the rigs, but also from the myriad of Louisiana companies doing business with the offshore industry, including contract employment companies, boat companies, tool rental companies, equipment servicing companies, and offshore food service companies, among many others.  Because of the pervasiveness of the oil and gas industry in Louisiana, the entire economy is affected, from grocery stores and restaurants to banks and schools.”

    How did the federal government respond?  By saying the economic ruin to thousands of Americans just doesn’t matter.

    That’s no exaggeration.  At last week’s hearing before the appellate court, the lawyer for the Interior Department repeated several times that any damage to the environment automatically trumps any damage to the economy that occurs by overzealous protectionism.  We have assembled the audio excerpts posted above of those multiple mentions by Justice Department lawyer Michael Gray.

    To President Obama, it may suffice to say that people can go on unemployment if they lose their jobs because of his drilling moratorium, but most people prefer to work, not collect unemployment.

    Our Live from the Gulf series is brought to you by our team of energy, environment, homeland security and response experts:

    James Carafano: Deputy Director, The Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies and Director, Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies
    Jack Spencer: Policy Director, Energy and Environment, Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies
    Nick Loris: Research Assistant, Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies
    Rory Cooper: Director of Strategic Communications

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    16 Responses to Live from the Gulf: Government Attorney on Moratorium: The Environment Trumps Jobs

    1. ROY S. MALLMANN II S says:

      Your previous comment about the Obama administration is "stuck on stupid" actually applies to thie entire administration. They only care about three things and they are the professional environmentists special interestst groups, the labor unions in particular SERVICE EMPLOYESS INTERNATIONAL UNION (which "employs" many, many illegals, hence "immigration reform") and the African American community to which he believes that He is their "Chosen One" and savior. He is against business of any kind and this last victim has been the entire oil industry. "Stuck on Stupid" may be a metaphor but it seems to me to be true in every single respect.

    2. Bud Horton, Spencer, says:

      This is all part of his plan. he is following saul alinsky's way to socialism one link, in the chain that will bind us all, at a time. This devastation to the gulf is exactly what he was looking for, one more link in the chain. Just as he put his socialist, statist left hand in charge of your/our health care, one more link in the chain. Just as he wants the mexican border wide open so he can gain another 12 to 13 million voters, one more link in the chain. I think you get my gist, he's pure evil and the sooner we ALL realize it, the sooner we can stop that next link in the chain.


    3. Drew Page, IL says:

      Sure, the environment trumps jobs, as long as you still have yours.

    4. cdsonnier, LA says:

      The President of the United States and his political appointees are knowingly and intentionally destroying the State of Louisiana (and inflicting serious harm on Texas, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida). The judicial and legislative branches seem powerless to stop the carnage, and the liberal media is looking the other way. Is this America?

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    12. chris mccune, nc and says:

      Hi, at first glimpse my post might look like some protest thing I assure you it's not intended to be. Some folks included in these groups don't share my thoughts while others do. We don't bicker we are trying to solve a big problem here. You can help if you care to. Skip to the end see what I mean just please give this a look.

      Thank you.

      Chris McCune

      Perdido Key, Fl. & Nebo, NC.

      THE MILLION GULFERS MARCH and SPILL ONTO WASHINGTON DC @ Facebook are two separate groups that have joined forces with each other. We are not a political movement. We are concerned individuals living at ground zero, from across the country and around the world. We know politics can’t and won’t help serve or save us. We try to keep political thoughts private, quiet and as individuals to our selves. Politics is not our issue. We are all together a product of this massive BP Gulf oil spill. We are not asking for money, we are not accepting donations. We welcome your thoughts and ideas we want your good ideas and your voice. Please join us, march with us and along the way help create,form and build obtainable workable solution(s). Please post your ideas and thoughts at MILLION GULFERS MARCH or SPILL ONTO WASHINGTON DC. @ Facebook.com

      A Final thought. We want and hope that you will join with us to help find a solution to this ongoing and growing catastrophe. So it will be less likely or better yet never happen again. Once again we aren’t asking for money we are not taking donations. We do want your good ideas and your voice. We hope that you will join us to add your voice and march with us for a greater in common good. Unanimously it seems “right now” that BP screwed up for what ever reason, it happened, it’s here. One million people can give one million opinions we all should want to work together to find a workable solution. Not every body will get exactly what they think they want. The fact is, what we are working with right now, isn’t working at this well so well. That may sound odd or funny it’s not a joke by any means and could the key to this lock.

      Petroleum products will and are going to be used. We can cut down. One day maybe we wont use it at all? I don’t know how, but maybe.

      Making this product unnecessarily more dangerous and harder to collect is stupid and obviously very costly. Nobody is going to agree to make it a planetary illegal substance to obtain or use it. If so who’s going to do it? So.

      Be the person to figure out number one.

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