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  • Obama Institutes Offshore Drilling Moratorium … Again

    After the BP oil spill, the Obama Administration offered little excuse for instituting a moratorium on deepwater drilling regardless of the fact that it brought one of the Gulf Coast’s main industries to a sudden halt. Despite federal judge Martin Feldman’s ruling on the moratorium and despite a federal appeals court upholding that decision, the U.S. Department of Interior issued a new moratorium on deepwater drilling this afternoon.

    The new ban will not apply to a specific depth but instead “apply to any deep-water floating facility with drilling activities.” But changing the rules of the ban does not change the fact that the moratorium would do nothing to address the oil spill. Instead, it would unnecessarily destroy jobs in a region struggling to manage an environmental and economic crisis—largely in part because of the federal government.

    In the face of a disaster that has already torn through the economic fabric of many coastal industries, denying jobs to the area is unjust. If the newly issued moratorium circumvents judicial ruling, more than 120,000 jobs could be lost in the Gulf Coast, and the ripples from these lost jobs would be seen throughout all sectors of the economy.

    Furthermore, hopes of keeping energy production in the domestic sphere are dwindling in the face of the moratorium. Companies such as Baker Hughes are giving up on domestic offshore drilling and temporarily (at least, for now) moving their rigs to other countries more receptive to oil exploration. Others may become part of Venezuela’s nationalized fleet. Diamond Offshore Drilling is taking its rig to Egypt as a result of the government’s persistence to ban deepwater drilling.

    But it’s not just the deepwater floating facilities that will be affected. The Obama Administration’s opposition to deepwater drilling has led to a de facto ban on shallow water drilling. CNN Money reports that “drillers in shallow water say they haven’t been issued permits since the April 20 explosion. The delay has already forced hundreds of layoffs, and many more could be on the way. ‘I’m almost out of business over here,’ said Paul Butler, president of Spartan Offshore, a small drilling company in Metairie, La.”
    White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said recently of the Gulf spill, “The president has and continues to believe that we have to be careful with what we’re doing, given the uncertainty about what happened 84 days ago.” One accident, no matter how tragic, is not indicative of an evolving pattern. The explosion of one rig could have been caused by any number of isolated factors unique to the BP rig and cannot be assumed to carry over to all deepwater drilling.

    In fact, when DOI Secretary Ken Salazar had his list of recommendations for the President reviewed by the seven experts from the National Academy of Engineering, those experts rejected the offshore drilling moratorium, saying, “A blanket moratorium is not the answer. It will not measurably reduce risk further and it will have a lasting impact on the nation’s economy which may be greater than that of the oil spill. We do not believe punishing the innocent is the right thing to do.”

    The uncertainty alone caused by the White House has brought offshore drilling to a halt and thus is having very real effects on the Gulf’s economy. This is not the time for political games. The Administration needs to listen to the two court rulings rejecting a ban on drilling and let the Gulf’s economy recover.

    Kelsey Huber co-authored this post.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    22 Responses to Obama Institutes Offshore Drilling Moratorium … Again

    1. Walter Brown, NY-Exp says:

      Thanks for another informative article Heritage Foundation. Keep up the good work

    2. shyatt says:

      When Obama and Van Jones spoke of redistribution of wealth. They were not referring to within the US. They will redistribute our wealth to other countries. The US will no longer have an oil industry. All will be moved to other countries. This has been well planned. Directly and indirectly, the US will lose 9 million jobs. To whom can I send information.

    3. Pingback: Obama Institutes Offshore Drilling Moratorium … Again | Plug The Bleeping Hole

    4. MJF, CT says:

      There goes Mr. Obama again, putting people out of work! When is this "child" going to learn that he does not need to stick his nose in everybody's business!

    5. Brian Sexton says:

      The real title rights to Offshore Oil!

      Brian Sexton

      We started FloridaOil.org to propose our own Constitutional Amendment but something we heard from thousands of people that signed our petitions is that they would prefer to accomplish the goals without changing the Constitution. The Constitution should be reserved to preserve rights not take them away or “grant” rights.

      We have a Governor who’s days in office, possibly any office, are numbered and is looking for any reason to regain credibility. The reality is that putting a Constitutional Amendment on the ballot will do nothing to change the status quo but to possibly tie the hands of future legislatures by taking advantage of people that may not have enough information to make an informed decision.

      The fact is that the Governor first asked us to meet with him last October and then for “political” reasons could not find the time for the meeting he requested. Part of our education we would have provided to the Governor would have been on the irresponsibility of the Federal Government in managing the Submerged Lands and the difference between shallow water and deepwater drilling and our concerns about the deepwater drilling. It’s an unforgivable tragedy that our concerns were verified and an insult that one of the very people that could have prevented this, if not for political posturing, is now to “solve” the problem in such an arrogant manor.

      A special session is not necessary as it will not change anything but if one is called it should be to rescind the authority we have granted to the Federal Government to manage the submerged lands and put all of the submerged lands surrounding our State under the control of the State of Florida. We have the right to do this, we have gone through all of the arguments and the bottom line is this simple argument. If the State of Florida were to secede from the Union, all of the submerged lands surrounding the State out to the limits of International law would become sovereign territory of the State of Florida, not the United States of America. That should sum up our rights to these lands.

      As we can see with the hearing’s taking place on Capitol Hill today, the blame game in DC is now and has been going on for quite some time and is only getting worse. Halliburton blames BP who blames Transocean and the endless cycle continues while the elected officials sit there without any blame or experience what-so-ever. MMS (Minerals Management Service) is supposed to regulate these companies and offshore drilling. It is time for the State of Florida to claim its Submerged Lands and take the control back from the Federal Government. If we know what’s actually taking place offshore and without accidents are rewarded with revenue we feel the State would take the responsibility in the good and bad times. As we can see with any Federal Government program the more power they try to take from a State and its people the worse the program becomes.

      True leaders act, not react. Let’s see some true leadership and take back the Submerged Lands and approach the future well informed.

    6. Pingback: Must Know Headlines 7.13.2010 — ExposeTheMedia.com

    7. Rick says:

      I am very relieved that I am not in the oil industry.

      I was a Navy nuclear submarine Engineer Officer weighing whether to leave the service for civilian life a the end of my initial service commitment in 1979. But, in the wake of Three Mile Island, opportunities in nuclear engineering had nearly ground to a halt.

      When I opted to enter the civilian work force in 1984, there was no future evident in U.S. nuclear power. That story remains the same.

      A one-off in terms of severity brought the growth of nuclear power generation in the U.S. to a halt. No new plants have been built. No new capacity has come on line.

      Now a one-off in the Gulf of Mexico – with a larger yet still manageable environmental effect – is about to bring our oil exploration and drilling industry to a halt.

      Killing off this power-generation industry brings back memories – none good.

      Our nation has not recovered from the 1979 body blow of TMI. It will suffer more and for longer if the oil industry is now allowed to similarly atrophy.

    8. Donald J. Cole - Cyp says:

      The Deepwater Horizon catastrophe will have long lasting consequences that will cause pain, misery and financial ruin to a staggering number of Americans. The audacity of the great masquerader, Obama, and his cadre, has gone on, unchallenged, for far too long. Where is the opposition from the other side of the imaginary aisle?

      The U.S. Courts should be awash in lawsuits against the administration and their clandestine (and not-so-clandestine)allies. Why are the Republican's not shouting from the rooftop of the Capitol for Obama's figurative head. Are the Republicans so neutered that they fear taking on this fraudulent imposter in the White House?

      As for the Baker Hughes and Diamonds, beware what you are doing. If you move off to "greener" oceans and abandon the hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of GOM Oil & Gas professionals who will lose so much if the "Obama Catastrophe" is allowed to overshadow the Deepwater Hosizon catastrophe, instead of staying and standing side by side to fight the government's outrageous attack on the industry, then you are just as much to blame as the government.

      The day will come, as surely as the sun will rise tomorrow, when you will regret your decision to run out on the rest of us.

      THINK!

    9. ThomNJ, New Jersey says:

      Need the governors to take a stand and quite literally fight back – demand that the oil companies continue drilling – make it a big fight with all the requisite noise – this is still too far under the radar with too many people.

    10. Tom says:

      How long can American news media stand by and not show what Obama is doing to this country? It reminds me of earlier days when the USSR news outlets did their propaganda on their people. Do your job news media.

    11. Alan says:

      More obfuscation and mis-direction from this administration.

      This administration has rationalized that because of this oil spill, we should not be engaging in off-shore oil drilling.

      By that simplistic faux logic, because the government has screwed up medicare and medicaid, it should get out of the socialized medicine medicine.

      Because the government has screwed up welfare, it should get out of the welfare business.

      Because the government has screwed up public housing, it should get out of the public housing business.

    12. J. Guidry, Battlefie says:

      No surprise that the president would issue another moratorium to circumvent the judicial ruling on the first one. This is a president who will do anything to anyone to get his agenda enacted. Make more people dependent on government to live and he thinks he has a ready voting base for the next election. By this administrations inaction in the first few days of the rig explosion and refusing to allow the experts to jump in and take care of the problem. Destroying the livelihoods of the people of the Gulf forces those who live there to rely on government handouts and can force them to vote for the democrats to continue the largess to survive.

      I am hoping the people of the Gulf can see through this administrations inactions and delaying tactics, and remember this in November.

    13. Kent Lancaster,PA says:

      Is it possible that our administration is really trying to put so many people out of work so it can come back later with an additional stimulius bill to help the gulf states people? And say, look at us, we are helping those in need.

    14. Eternalimage says:

      Its very useful article. I like it

      Thanks

      <a href="&rdquo ;www.eternalimage.net”” target=”_blank”>Penny Stocks Information

    15. Renny. Middle River, says:

      You are telling us what he did, what effects it has on the economy. But how can he go against two court ruleings? What is our next step. If a federal court says "no" and you go ahead and do something any way, doesn't that mean "jail time???" Or does that only apply to the common taxpayers??

    16. Micki-Tamarac, FL says:

      Don't count on Charlie Christ, he is on the POTUS side on everything.

      I voted for him in the past but will never vote for him again.

      He caves to the unions and anything else that is controversial.

      What a dissapointment this man has become.

      Anything to get elected!

    17. Modesto, CA says:

      If the oil drilling and production platforms are not being used, and if they are leased, and the lease payments cannot be made, what will their owners do? . . . move them to George Soros' Petrobras operations?

      Is this whole delay and these two Obama bans just a vehicle to transfer US oil production resources/equipment to Soros' investment, all the while raising the future oil price for Soros?

    18. Anil Sharma says:

      Nice article but the update is the spill has finally stopped leaking and all we gotta do now is to clean the mess, I read the guy talking about eternal image, I did a bit of research on them, they are a cool company, not too high but they had a high of 0.4 and trading at 0.0065 atm. nice opportunity for a newbie dealer

    19. larry allen/traverse says:

      So, why isn't there a Contempt of Court case!

    20. Pingback: Gas Prices Under President Obama in Pictures | Step Down Obama

    21. Pingback: Gas prices up 55% under Obama « The IUSB Vision Weblog

    22. Pingback: Is Current Energy Policy Pro-Environment or Just Anti-American? | GOP Journal

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