Saturday, September 25, 2010

Plug the Drilling Moratorium

From The Wall Street Journal:
For an Administration that loves to tout stimulus projects that create a handful jobs here or there, it takes some nerve to describe the loss of up to 12,000 high-paying Gulf jobs as a triumph. Also unmentioned in the report is that if the Administration had listened to its own outside experts—who insisted a moratorium was unnecessary—the jobs lost would have been near zero. It is the White House that handed the Gulf these pink slips—not the spill, or a poor economy.

And there's the rub. The real fear is that the Administration is using the oil spill as an excuse to shut down the drilling that the enviro left finds so offensive. The President stacked his oil-spill commission with antidrilling environmentalists, who will be predisposed to recommend that any lifting of the ban be accompanied by a severe regulatory regime. The result would be a moratorium in everything but name.

The reports are in. The extra inspections of deep water drilling rigs were finished n a matter of days after the tragic accident resulted in the oil spill. The time is now. The deep water oil drilling moratorium must be cancelled.

Even Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu is showing a bit of resolve to force the issue.
Louisiana's senior senator, Mary Landrieu, has written to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to say she will place a hold on OMB nominee Jack Lew until she is assured by senior White House staff that the moratorium will be lifted.

“Due to the Administration’s unwillingness to reverse or modify its policies that have halted all deepwater and nearly all shallow-water energy exploration, I cannot in good conscience allow this nomination to proceed until I receive a commitment from Mr. Lew, the President, or another senior economic advisor to reverse these policies, which have been so detrimental to working families across the Gulf Coast,” Landrieu wrote in a letter Thursday to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

The moratorium also affects the oil drilling in shallow water. As this article points out, this, too, is intentional on the part of Team Obama: After the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the Administration and other critics bullied and badgered the oil and gas regulators. Now the regulators are so fearful, they seldom approve any of the necessary permits to produce energy.

Reuters writes that, “Before BP’s record Macondo oil leak, U.S. regulators approved about a dozen [shallow water] drilling permits a month…since [the disaster] they’ve barely managed one a month…” In other words, there is a de facto moratorium on shallow water exploration because of the Administration’s (in)actions

Energy policy is too far reaching to be made into a purely political battle on ideology. Drilling in the Gulf of Mexico has been conducted safely for decades. This accident was used for fodder for the far left to pick on a favored target - oil drilling. It is a short-sighted philosophy and it is simply arrogant. President Obama didn't mind sending millions of dollars in aide to Brazil for their oil drilling industry. It is shameful. It is inexcusable.

It is time to end the deep water drilling moratorium.

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