Soros's Oil Spill Payoff

A leftist billionaire is enriched, while ordinary Americans go jobless.

Within 48 hours after President Obama issued the six-month moratorium on deep-water drilling, the George Soros-backed Brazilian oil company, Petrobras, contacted a large New Orleans company, Laborde Marine, which services the deep-water drilling market. The company was seeking to lease all its vessels. “If the moratorium on deep-water drilling is not lifted, 33 semi-submersible rigs and/or drill ships affected will simply go to other countries where they will be well received, such as Brazil,” Cliffe F. Laborde and J. Peter Laborde, Jr. wrote in a June 4 letter to their Louisiana Senators.

Could this be merely a happy coincidence for George Soros, the major financial backer of Obama’s presidential campaign who also has $811 million invested in the Brazilian oil company, Petrobras? Wasn’t it enough of a payback to Soros when the Obama Administration loaned up to $10 billion to Petrobras? Soros, with his far left-wing organization, MoveOn, is called the Godfather of world socialism. But most relevant currently is that he has been an enthusiastic proponent of global warming and environmental liberalism. He has urged adoption of a global carbon tax. Could it be more than coincidence that his position is strikingly similar to what Obama called for in his June 14 Oval Office speech on the Gulf oil spill and future energy actions?

“Seizing on the widening calamity in the Gulf of Mexico, to push for legislation he had advocated [a carbon tax] since his campaign” a New York Times article noted. “Mr. Obama said he was willing to look for approaches from Republicans as well as Democrats....” Obama delivered the speech the evening before he was to meet with British Petroleum top executives to demand that they agree to the creation of a multi-billion dollar escrow account to pay claims stemming from the disaster when the company’s rig blew up and spewed oil into the Gulf.

The moratorium could mean the loss of at least 20,000 jobs, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal wrote in a letter to Obama. “The last thing we need is to enact public policies that will certainly destroy thousands of existing jobs while preventing the creation of thousands more,” Jindal’s statement said. Each drilling platform idled by the ban puts 1,400 jobs at risk, according to the National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA), a group of drillers and companies that support oil production. Lost wages could reach $10 million a month for each rig, according to Jangal. NOIA has said: "The offshore industry is responsible for nearly 200,000 jobs in the Gulf of Mexico alone, and provides 30 percent of our nation’s domestic oil production....[W]e must be careful not to make things worse.”

The Labordes, in their letter to their senators, wrote: “To shut down the entire industry is overkill and analogous to shutting down all commercial air traffic after one plane crash due to pilot error.” The Labordes also wrote,

Over the last three years, we have built in U.S. shipyards or acquired new U.S. built and flagged vessels primarily designed to service the deep water drilling market. We own and/or operate 21 vessels. Our annual payroll is over $14 million. Now, the U.S. government is telling us to simply ‘park’ our vessels for at least six months. Never in the history of the United States has the government decided to shut down an entire industry for six months. That decision seems to be a knee-jerk reaction based on an emotional response to the spill, and made without a full appreciation of the consequences which will adversely impact tens of thousands of hard working people who are engaged in the industry. It is a decision that advances the Administration’s agenda for transferring to a clean/alternative energy economy, but at an enormous cost to the thousands of us engaged in offshore exploration and development.

If the moratorium on deep water drilling is not lifted, the 33 semi-submergible rigs and/or drill ships will simply go to other countries where they will be well received [and] will not return to the Gulf of Mexico for years if ever. The damage to our industry will be irreversible....For us to move internationally, we will have to compete with vessels built in foreign yards at a much lower cost and often subsidized by foreign governments. It will not be a level playing field. The moratorium may well be the death-knell for U.S. businesses engaged in the energy service sector....While alternative energy is a laudable goal, it will be decades before alternative fuels make a dent in our county’s needs....This is the United States of America, where reason and sound judgment have always been the foundation of our system of government—not poorly thought-out and capricious reactions that destroy the livelihoods of thousands of its citizens in order to promote a partisan political agenda....”

By siding with liberal Democrats who oppose off-shore drilling or even much safer drilling on the continent, Obama is costing the nation trillions in revenues and scores of thousands of new jobs. Meanwhile, his pal and sponsor, George Soros will see his investment in Brazil’s Petrobras turn a pretty profit when oil prices rise, as surely they will if U.S. resources are not tapped. The American Petroleum Institute estimates that we have U.S. resources to generate nearly 160,000 new, well-paying jobs and $1.7 trillion in revenues to federal, state, and local governments, with $1.3 trillion from offshore drilling alone.