Bullying Oil Producers

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In the period during which Salazar had imposed a moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, the Interior Secretary continued his brazen talk. “We will only lift the moratorium when I, as Secretary of Interior, am comfortable that we have significantly reduced those risks. So the moratorium dragged on–hurting jobs, drilling, and tourism.

The Obama’s Administration’s six-month moratorium on exploratory drilling in the Gulf  “would produce economic loses within the Gulf region and throughout the nation,” according to a study by Louisiana State University economist and professor of finance Joseph Mason in August. The study explored how the moratorium affected the economies of Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, and Mississippi, as well as its effect on the country as a whole.

But wait. The Obama Administration can’t let the nation forget how awful oil companies are and the damage they can do. Obama signed an executive order last month establishing a Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force “to coordinate efforts to implement restoration programs and projects in the Gulf Coast Region. No limits were provided as to expense or length of time the Task Force will be in operation.

The President named Lisa Jackson, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Administrator as chair of the task force—partly for old time’s sake– “ because she’s a New Orleans native.”

And (according to an EPA press release) “due to her considerable involvement in the Obama Administration’s immediate response efforts following the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill and her knowledge and extensive experience in environmental issues—factors that will be central in spurring actions that will be central to help to restore the region’s ecosystem while providing important support for the economy.

Obama’s executive order stated: “To effectively address the damage caused by the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, address the longstanding ecological decline, and begin moving toward a more resilient Gulf Coast ecosystem, ecosystem restoration is needed. Ecosystem restoration will support economic vitality, enhance human health and safety, protect infrastructure, enable communities to better withstand impact from storms and climate change [Let’s never forget climate change], sustain safe seafood and clean water, provide recreational and cultural opportunities, protect and preserve sites that are of cultural and historical significance, and contribute to the overall resilience of our four coastal communities and Nation.”

The task force will include a “senior official” from all the departments and agencies of the federal government as well as the Gulf states and tribal officials. Within one year, “the Task Force shall prepare a strategy that proposes a Gulf Coast ecosystem restoration agenda.” The Task Force will have “such administrative services, funds, facilities, staff, and other support services as may be necessary….”

In other words, another Obama attempt to transform the world as he wants to see it. After all, it’s necessary because it was all the fault of bad old destructive Big Oil.

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  • bubba4

    It's like you're coming to the defense of your poor helpless baby. Oil companies pay royalities to take "our" oil. Do you want to give it to them for free?

    They managed to make the largest profits in history over the last couple of years…billions and billions a quarter PROFIT…so they can't complain too much.

    FPM just tries to learn no lessons from reality doesn't it. The Gulf Oil disaster was BP's fault…but "we" (the government) allowed it to happen because we weren't paying attention (decent oversight , regulations, inspections, etc). Now here comes Tait to tell us the lesson to gather from this is we need less regulation. We need to stop pestering those captains of industry…those princes of the free market.

    It's just an indefensible position…it's absolute insanity.

    • Raymond in DC

      Computer giant Apple has also made "billions and billions" in profit over the last year. Since when is success a crime and profits the wages of sin?

      • bubba4

        Doesn Apple dig up its ipod and ipads from public land? No. They have nothing to do with each other.

        Who said success is a crime? No one. This is just an easy way to dodge the obvious.

  • groovimus

    Bubba is OK with his brothers-in-arms over in Beijing taking oil from the continental shelf without paying the US government. All they have to do is pay Castro what they think will get him to go along, give him a little of the, then they horizontally drill and suck out the resource that U.S. producers are not allowed to drill for because of the moratorium. Face it Bubba, you don't like productive people unless they are Chinese or Cuban. You think that the US government should be able to have committees on every rig who can somehow review every detailed decision, and have all this detailed knowledge of petroleum exploration that gives them the magical power to INSURE that no major will ever happen, by actually directing the onboard crews. Truly magical thinking on your part.

    • bubba4

      Bubba is OK with his brothers-in-arms over in Beijing taking oil from the continental shelf without paying the US government.

      Really? Where did you pick up that little tidbit? Setting aside for a second you believe whatever nonsense you want to, I don't care if the company is British or Chinese, they need to pay for taking the public resource.

      Your post is a strawman. Our choices aren't just 1)Do nothing 2) smother business. That's what's called a false dichotomy. Thanks for gracing us with your dishonesty.