By Kevin Mooney on 9.16.11 @ 1:59PM
If a report in the Wall Street Journal is to be believed, energy development in The Gulf Of Mexico has staged a remarkable comeback in recent months. The Obama administration imposed a moratorium on deepwater oil and gas drilling last May in response to the BP oil rig explosion last year. The moratorium was lifted last October, but industry officials are convinced a “de-facto” moratorium remains in effect at the expense of the Gulf coast.
As the Pelican Institute for Public Policy has reported, the latest research shows that up to 20 oil rigs could be leaving the Gulf Coast, in addition to 11 that have already left, unless the feds get moving on the permitting process. It is difficult to see how this scenario translates into a recovery in the affected region. Nevertheless, this is how the WSJ report opens:
The Gulf of Mexico has staged a comeback as a source of oil for big energy companies, little more than a year after the Obama administration largely shut down drilling in the wake of the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history…
The burst of activity comes as the government prepares to toughen its oversight of offshore drilling. On Wednesday, federal regulators probing the Deepwater Horizon disaster issued a report that recommended numerous changes.
Robert Bluey, who heads up the Heritage Foundation’s investigative journalism unit, has kept careful tabs on the regulatory policies Team Obama has aimed against the Gulf region. As Bluey has noted in his reports on the the Foundry, deepwater permits are down 71 percent from their historical monthly average of 5.8 permits per month. Shallow-water permitting have also fallen in past few weeks by 34 percent from the historical monthly average of 7.1 permits.
The WSJ report does not seem to square with reality and should be re-visited.
Bonner Cohen, a senior fellow with the National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR), has commented on economic fallout associated with the depleted rig fleet in the Gulf.
“Each rig that leaves the Gulf of Mexico taxes jobs and energy away from the U.S. and sends them overseas,” he observed. “The White House now wants Congress to pass a so-called jobs bill, when its own policies systemically destroy jobs. What’s more, the oil and gas in the Gulf region are real energy, not the phony energy of Solyndra, the solar-panel manufacturer and the recipient of a $535 million taxpayer-funded loan guarantee that went belly-up last week.”
Meanwhile, Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) has sent a letter to administration officials asking them to come clean the slow pace of drilling permits. He has also introduced a bill to audit federal subsidies for green jobs.
- USA: Chevron Strikes Oil in Deepwater Gulf of Mexico (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Push for permits in Gulf of Mexico (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Collateral Damage: Lost Gulf Rigs from Obama Obstructionism (10 down, more to go?) (mb50.wordpress.com)
- New Oil Finds Around the Globe: Will the U.S. Capitalize on Its Oil Resources? (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Obama Doesn’t Care About Creating Jobs (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Louisiana Remains on the Receiving End of Washington D.C.’s Worst Regulations (mb50.wordpress.com)
- US experts eye Cuba oil plans after BP spill (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Rigged For Failure (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Bernard L. Weinstein: US energy resources worth the investment (mb50.wordpress.com)
by Jim Lakely August 23, 2011
Near the end of the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama — knowing he would win — told his supporters that they were just days away from “fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” Radio host Dennis Prager was one of the few to quickly home in on that quote and wonder what should have been obvious to everyone listening: Why would a man who loved and respected his country want to “fundamentally transform” it?
That’s like telling your spouse, Prager said (paraphrasing): “I love you, baby. But we need to fundamentally transform the way you look, act and think.” How might your spouse take such a statement? Mine would not take it well — for good reason (and in the reverse, too). If you love someone, or something — like your country — you don’t want to “fundamentally transform” it. That choice of words by Obama is telling, in retrospect.
So take Obama’s words at face value, and weigh them with how he has acted and governed as president since January 2009. Make your own judgments. Draw your own conclusions. But that famous Obama victory-is-at-hand quote came to mind when I read this post at the Power Line blog: “Obama’s ‘Industrial Sabatoge’ Devastates the Gulf.”
John Hinderaker points to a post at MasterResource, “a free-market energy blog.” Kevin Mooney “tabulates the damage that the Obama administration is doing to the Gulf economy, and to the energy industry generally”:
Ten oil rigs have left the Gulf of Mexico since the Obama Administration imposed a moratorium on deepwater oil and gas drilling in May 2010 and others could follow soon…. The rigs have left the Gulf for locations in Egypt, Congo, French Guiana, Liberia, Nigeria and Brazil.
It gets worse.
Several of the remaining rigs could be relocating soon, according to the report. These include the Paul Romano, the Ocean Monarch and the Saratoga. Moreover, eight other rigs that were planned for the Gulf have been detoured away, Don Briggs, President of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association (LOGA), points out.
Remember what I’ve emphasized above in bold the next time you hear the Obama administration or other politicians mouth platitudes about ending our dependence on foreign oil. They don’t want to end our dependence on foreign oil. They want to shut off the spigots altogether.
Through every action — from driving out American rigs from American waters in the Gulf, to shutting off access to oil reserves in Alaska and elsewhere, to refusing to allow a pipeline from Canada to American refineries, to hyping the phony dangers of “fracking” for shale gas — the left wants to end domestic exploration and extraction of all fossil fuels. They want to centrally plan our economy dramatically downward into a “green” fantasy — one that is unsustainable if we wish to retain our standard of living and place in the world as a leading economic engine.
President Obama’s transformational energy plan is wholly intentional. Tapping America’s vast energy resources would create hundreds of thousands of jobs — but Obama simply doesn’t care. Putting people to work takes a distant back seat to “fundamentally transforming the United States of America” towards an unworkable leftist utopia.
That MasterResource post Hinderaker highlights quotes Bonner Cohen of the National Center for Public Policy Research. Cohen expands on what he sees as the “broader devastation being wrought by the Obama administration’s energy policies.”
“What you are seeing in Louisiana is only a small piece of larger mosaic being put together by the Obama Administration to make affordable energy as inaccessible as possible,” Cohen said. “From the administration’s war on coal to the serious consideration it is giving to imposing a nationwide regulation of hydraulic fracturing, to its shut down of deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, to its ‘endangerment finding’ from the EPA, the administration is practicing its own form of selected industrial sabotage.”
Hinderaker writes: “If a hostile nation drove our drilling rigs out of the Gulf of Mexico, it would be an act of war.” Harsh, but it’s hard to call it false. Other countries, some hostile to the United States, are swooping into the Gulf to drill for the energy they need. We are purposely, through government policy, surrendering the ground — driving away U.S. firms and all the jobs that go with them.
And Obama, and his administration, could hardly care less. It’s actually the plan.