Administrations moratorium on offshore drilling jobs


As if the latest measly numbers on our jobless recovery weren't bad enough, along comes the administration to pile disaster upon disaster by slapping a six-month ban on deep-water drilling.

When President Obama visited Louisiana on May 1, he talked about the possibility that the oil gushing from BP's Deepwater Horizon well could "jeopardize the livelihoods of thousands of Americans who call this place home." Now the administration's response could jeopardize the livelihoods of tens of thousands more.

In a letter sent to Obama on Wednesday, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal challenged the president's decision to suspend deepwater drilling for six months while a presidential commission to which the buck has been passed tries to sort things out.

It's another chapter in the administration's inept response to the Deepwater Horizon disaster, which has included seeking the advice of "Avatar" and "Titanic" director James Cameron, presumably because he knows how to operate cameras underwater. Perhaps Cameron, as one wag put it, told the White House how to rearrange the deck chairs.

"The last thing we need is to enact public policies that will certainly destroy thousands of existing jobs while preventing the creation of thousands more," Jindal wrote. The moratorium, he said, will shut down 33 deepwater rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, including 22 near Louisiana, costing as many as 6,000 jobs in the next three weeks and 20,000 by the end of next year.

We expect his plea to fall on deaf ears. Jindal was last seen begging the federal government to provide millions of feet in containment booms and to approve an emergency permit for a state plan to dredge and build new barrier islands to keep the oil from reaching the marshes and wetlands. Both could have been done in a single White House phone call.

The ban requires all Gulf wells in more than 500 feet of water to shut down, and also prevents permits from being issued for any new deepwater drilling. According to the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil & Gas Association (LMOGA), as many as 1,400 jobs are at risk for each of the 33 idled rigs. The jobs average $1,804 a week, meaning lost wages could be as high as $330 million each month.


This is just another example of how careless the anti energy left can be. They are intent on destroying thousands of good jobs in the energy industry hoping to replace them with jobs in the magic energy business that does not exist. We need the energy these jibs produce and we need to put these guys back to work. I am glad to see Gov. Jindal pressing the administration on the issue and I think other politicians in the effected states will be doing so.

There is something "liberal" about an assumption that all of these wells are a danger to the environment when we have been operating offshore production for over 40 years and the current problem is the first and only one of its kind.


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