This article speaks to the frustration felt by those offshore drilling personnel laid off due to no fault of their own. These are tough jobs and require skilled personnel. Most Americans are not aware of the operations on drilling rigs and are clueless about how oil and natural gas comes out of the ground, or the water. This is a learning opportunity for everyone.
The oil industry is a $150 billion-a-year business in the Gulf, slightly bigger than tourism and dwarfing the $1 billion fishing industry.
With a government-imposed temporary ban on deep water drilling and permits for new shallow water wells stuck in limbo, roughnecks, roustabouts, and others in this field are nervous.
Their fear: When the wells they are currently drilling are finished, their jobs will disappear.
It is common sense that oil drilling rigs cannot sit idle and wait out a moratorium or a deliberate backlog of permits to discourage drilling. The rigs will move out of the Gulf of Mexico for other contracts. Oil drilling is a business and business has to make a profit to continue.
This article speaks to the unintended victims of 'deep water' drilling and its moratorium. How do environmentalists think their insistence on running oil drilling further and further out is working now? And, for the record, oil people care about the environment, too. To think otherwise or express a different opinion shows profound ignorance of the industry and simple political ideology.
And, this article speaks to the future of both oil drilling and the Gulf of Mexico:
Offshore drilling in the gulf directly contributes to about 6% of the total U.S. GDP, estimates Omowumi Iledare, a professor of petroleum economics at Louisiana State University's Center for Energy Studies. The U.S. uses almost 20 million barrels a day, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Any that we don't buy from ourselves we must buy abroad, and that adds to the U.S. trade deficit.
The gulf region also depends on the jobs that oil provides to people working on or around the rigs. Tens of thousands of jobs in the Gulf of Mexico are tied to offshore drilling.
The Obama administration has dropped the ball from the beginning of their response and now the Gulf coast is in a very bad way.
It's all about the photo op!
"The government needs to make sure [the MMS] has competent people-technically competent people-not just lawyers," says Iledare. "You can't regulate what you don't know." True dat.