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Surely, the most shameful display of Obama’s eagerness to control all things was his mandate of a six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf. The New York Times May 27 reported his plan to stop new deepwater drilling for six months, suspend exploratory drilling scheduled off Alaska this summer, and cancel a lease sale off Virginia’s coast. The Interior Department used the flimsy excuse that a moratorium was necessary because of uncertainties about the cause of the oil blowout and the need to write new drilling rules.
The moratorium was first rejected by a U.S. District Court judge June 22. The administration appealed, asking the fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to let the temporary ban stand until it ruled on the case. The federal Appeals Court July 8 rejected the administration’s request to keep the moratorium in place while it appealed the lower court’s rejection of the moratorium, saying the administration had failed to show “irreparable harm” if work resumed on approved well sites in the Gulf.
Having been thwarted in his efforts to mandate his six-month moratorium on new Gulf wells, on July 12 Obama had his Interior Secretary issue a new moratorium order. A statement from Interior Secretary Ken Salazar—grasping at any straw–said that “the May 28 moratorium proscribed drilling based on specific water depths; the new decision does not suspend activities based on water depth but on the basis of the drilling configurations and technologies.”
More than three months after the April oil blowout, “Gulf states and the oil industry are still howling” over unnecessary economic harm, the Christian Science Monitor said July 27. The Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee listened to testimony forecasting financial losses of $2.8 billion and moratorium-caused job losses exceeding 10,000.
When the moratorium was first announced in May, within 48 hours the George Soros-backed Brazilian oil company, Petrobras, contacted Laborde Marine, a big New Orleans company, seeking to lease all its vessels. If the moratorium is not lifted, company officials wrote their Louisiana Senators, 33 rigs and/or drill ships “will simply go to other countries.” Could it have been more than a coincidence that Soros, a huge financial backer of Obama’s presidential campaign, would now profit from the moratorium and his ownership in Petrobras?
If that seems too cynical, there’s the long-standing goal of Obama and his Democrat allies in Congress to control our energy by replacing oil and gas with renewable sources of energy, no matter how costly in subsidies and impractical in implementation. This goal fits neatly into the plan to restrict drilling to the fullest extent. While Obama mouths concern about jobs, he turns a deaf ear to American Petroleum Institute forecasts that the industry has resources to generate 160,000 well-paying jobs.
The Bayoubuzz.com in Louisiana reported that before the oil spill and the moratorium, 56 rigs were operating in the Gulf. By the end of July “there are only 12 active rigs. Most have “departed for the Congo and Egypt and more rigs may be leaving very soon….The oil industry has had an impressive track record in the Gulf by drilling over 40,000 wells in the last four decades without a major spill….” But the needless job-killing moratorium continues.
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