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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Drill Baby Drill - Again!

In the damned if you do, damned if you don't category comes our dependence on oil.  Oil not just to fuel our cars etc., but for jobs and revenue.

In an article at the Wall Street Journal they report:
Gulf Coast residents, political leaders and industry officials said delays in releasing the new rules, along with the administration's six-month halt on deepwater drilling—both issued amid public pressure—threatened thousands of jobs.
Industry trade groups say that each deepwater rig employs 180 to 280 workers, with each of those jobs supporting another four industry workers, for a total potential loss of more than 40,000 jobs. The moratorium "will result in crippling job losses and significant economic impacts for the Gulf region," the National Ocean Industries Association said in a letter Monday.
And the people (or their representatives) most effected by the oil spill are often the most vocal advocates for elimination of the moratorium.  From the article:
At a meeting at the New Orleans airport, Charlotte Randolph, president of Lafourche Parish, said she implored Mr. Obama for the second time in eight days to immediately lift the deepwater drilling moratorium. Billy Nungesser, president of Plaquemines Parish, suggested to the president he should deploy a federal official on every rig with the authority to shut it down at the first sign of trouble. Then he could lift the moratorium.

When neither of those ideas gained traction, Steve Theriot, president of Jefferson Parish, said he asked the president to lift the moratorium on every oil company but BP. Finally, Sen. David Vitter (R., La.) said the administration needed to immediately issue the new safety regulations that were holding up drilling permits. Mr. Vitter said he made the same appeal to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar three hours after the Obama meeting broke up.
On Monday, the widows of two Deepwater Horizon crewmembers called at a congressional hearing for stepped up safety enforcement in the offshore drilling industry, and voiced their support for continuing to drill offshore. "I fully support offshore drilling and I always will," said Natalie Roshto, of Liberty, Miss., whose husband, Shane, was among 11 people killed in the blast.
In the past I did not oppose off-shore drilling.  It brought jobs and revenue to many States which needed it and brought oil to our country from within the US.  But my support was based on the misguided believe that proper safeguards were in place to protect from spills.  We all know that our beliefs were now based on lies and misinformation from Big Oil.
In that we now know that the safeguards and the plans to protect us are woefully inadequate, a rush to reapprove drilling does not seem prudent.  I understand the job and revenue loss, but insn't the risk simply to great.  So Obama is now stuck between a rock and hard place. 
(Rock)   Mr. Obama defended the deep-water moratorium on Friday, and administration officials said Monday that it wasn't being reconsidered. "A repeat of the BP Deepwater Horizon spill would have grave economic consequences for regional commerce and do further damage to the environment," the White House said Monday.
(Hard Place)  The Obama administration, facing rising anger on the Gulf Coast over the loss of jobs and income from a drilling moratorium, said Monday that it would move quickly to release new safety requirements that would allow the reopening of offshore oil and gas exploration in shallow waters.

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