After yet another Federal Court ruling against the Obama Administration for its illegal oil moratorium put into place after the Gulf Oil Spill, the Interior Department has issued one new deep water drilling permit (actually it isn’t a new permit, the company had already had a permit and had started drilling until Obama’s ban but was set to expire in 2011. ) Obama has put businesses and thousands of individuals lives on hold or in the unemployment line since his oil moratorium. Some companies have fled to other areas where there isn’t a tyrant stopping them from running their business. Maybe Obama doesn’t realize that these oil companies provide good paying jobs which in turn support local businesses which in turn provide good paying jobs. Or maybe he does.
Judge Feldman was not very happy with this administration (emphasis added):
Perhaps it is reasonable for permit applicants to wait more than two weeks in a necessarily more closely regulated environment. Delays of four months and more in the permitting process, however, are unreasonable, unacceptable and unjustified by the evidence before the court…The plaintiff’s operations in the Gulf of Mexico are threatened with endless disability. It has already sent a rig to French Guiana; its contracts and skilled labor necessarily will follow…Beginning to process permit applications will restore normalcy to the Gulf region and repair the public’s faith in the administrative process.
In a statement released yesterday, House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings said the following:
Over four months after the deep water drilling moratorium was officially lifted in the Gulf of Mexico, the Administration is finally issuing the first permit. While this is good news, today’s action alone isn’t enough. The Administration must immediately move ahead with issuing other permits and comply with the recent judicial decision ordering the Administration to act. This one new permit will not ease the economic pain being inflicted on Gulf families. Thousands of people are still out of work in the Gulf and the threat of four dollar gasoline is looming over our struggling economy. A robust all-of-the-above energy plan that includes increased offshore energy production is needed to put Americans back to work and help insulate America from energy price spikes caused by unstable foreign countries.
Interesting that on March 3rd a full committee hearing is scheduled, which includes ‘grilling’ Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar on the ‘de facto’ oil moratorium. In a letter recently sent by Chairman Hastings and Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources Chair Doug Lamborn to the Gulf State Committee, they explain how they are going to conduct an “aggressive schedule of hearings on the Obama Administration’s slow-walking of permits and the impacts of the de facto moratorium on our economy, jobs and U.S. energy security.”
The letter goes on to state the obvious:
…While the people and local businesses of the Gulf have been hardest hit by the Administration’s delays, the need to resume offshore energy production is of national importance. Offshore drilling supports thousands of Americans jobs throughout the country. In addition, nearly a third of all U.S. oil is produced in the Gulf of Mexico. With gasoline prices rising and political unrest spreading throughout the Middle East, the United States must act now to responsibly develop our own American energy resources. The Administration’s effort to block access to American offshore oil and natural gas exacerbates the problem and deepens our dangerous dependence on foreign energy.
Meanwhile according to AP Press Energy writer Chris Kahn:
The Obama administration is seeking a $12 million increase in the former Minerals Management Service budget to hire hundreds of new oil and gas inspectors, engineers, scientists to oversee industry operations; conduct detailed engineering reviews; and more closely review oil spill response plans. Much of the money would come from higher fees and royalty rates on oil and gas companies.
Why does Obama want to increase government employees and spending to further monitor an industry which he clearly is trying to drive into the grave? His brilliant idea is to decrease the number in the oil industry private sector but increase the oil monitoring number in the public sector? What about the real jobs Obama (Earth to Obama – the public sector doesn’t generate revenue)? Talk about wasteful and useless spending. Obama talks about creating jobs out of one side of his mouth, yet kills them out of the other side. The graph below shows an 88% decrease in the number of deep water drilling permits that are normally granted. With the Middle East in chaos right now, unemployment in the United States still hovering around 10% and gas prices rising by the day. Obama needs to get his head out of the sand. Unless of course, he’s putting it there on purpose.