While the inspector general found no conclusive evidence of wrongdoing and the White House denied any attempt to mislead the public, Feldman pointed out that “at the hearing on the first moratorium, in response to a question by the Court, the government’s answer then was wholly at odds with the story of the misleading text change by a White House official, a story the government does not now dispute.”
As GOP Congressman Joe Wilson of South Carolina would have put it more bluntly: “You lie.”
In addition to the lost jobs and lost revenue already sacrificed at the altar of “safety,” the Interior Department will now siphon tax dollars to pay for the “substantial” legal fees of the plaintiffs as a result of the contempt ruling. Another affected business, Century Exploration New Orleans, Inc., filed a drilling ban-related complaint against the department last week claiming breach of contract — which could add yet more millions or billions to publicly subsidized legal costs.
Jim Adams, president and CEO of the Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA), noted the massive gap between Obama’s words and actions this week: “[T]housands of workers are out of jobs, Americans are paying more for gasoline and heating oil, and our nation is becoming even more dependent on unstable nations for our energy needs. President Obama talks a lot about jobs and energy independence. Now it’s time for him to back up his words with action and call off his de facto moratorium. Americans want an end to this manmade disaster.”
But instead of reining Salazar in, the White House is happy to let him wage the administration’s continuing war on the West with impunity. Despite pleas from both Democratic and Republican officials at all levels of government to retreat from an administrative usurpation of wild lands that he slipped through during the Christmas season lame duck session, Salazar is moving full speed ahead. Adding audacious insult to economic injury, Salazar this week unveiled new “scientific integrity rules” to “end political manipulation of science” and “encourage an environment of rigorous open discussion.”
The Obama culture of corruption meets the culture of contempt. It’s a toxic slick that will ultimately be left to voters to clean up.