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WH Knew Drill Ban Would Kill 23,000 Jobs

From the Wall Street Journal:

Drill pipes sit aboard an idle oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico near Port Fourchon, Louisiana August 11, 2010.

U.S. Saw Drill Ban Killing Many Jobs

By STEPHEN POWER And LESLIE EATON
AUGUST 21, 2010

Senior Obama administration officials concluded the federal moratorium on deepwater oil drilling would cost roughly 23,000 jobs, but went ahead with the ban because they didn’t trust the industry’s safety equipment and the government’s own inspection process, according to previously undisclosed documents.

Marcia McNutt [sic], an Obama administration science adviser, commented on the corporate culture of BP in a memo sent to Michael Bromwich, the administration’s new top offshore oil exploration regulator, on June 28.

Critics of the moratorium, including Gulf Coast political figures and oil-industry leaders, have said it is crippling the region’s economy, and some have called on the administration to make public its economic analysis. A federal judge who in June threw out an earlier six-month moratorium faulted the administration for playing down the economic effects.

After his action, administration officials considered alternatives and weighed the economic costs, the newly released documents show. The Justice Department filed them in a New Orleans court this week, in response to the latest round of litigation over the moratorium.

Spanning more than 27,000 pages, they provide an unusually detailed look at the debate about how to respond to legal and political opposition to the moratorium.

They show the new top regulator or offshore oil exploration, Michael Bromwich, told Interior Secretary Ken Salazar that a six-month deepwater-drilling halt would result in "lost direct employment" affecting approximately 9,450 workers and "lost jobs from indirect and induced effects" affecting about 13,797 more. The July 10 memo cited an analysis by Mr. Bromwich’s agency that assumed direct employment on affected rigs would "resume normally once the rigs resume operations."

Asked to comment, a White House spokesman said the administration "well understood, and understands, the enormous importance of oil and gas to the region’s economy," but the potential economic risks from another spill to other elements of the Gulf economy—such as fishing and tourism—also informed the administration’s deliberations, "especially as spill-response resources were fully engaged to address the BP Deepwater Horizon spill."

If, Gaia forbid, another similar leak occurred once this ban is lifted, you can bet that the response will not be in any significant way any better than what it was in April.

The newly released document trove shows that a top science adviser at Interior worried in late June that BP PLC, primary owner of the blown-out well, had an "unrealistically optimistic" corporate culture. After working with BP in Houston on spill response, Marcia McNutt, director of the U.S. Geological Survey, told Mr. Bromwich that BP officials "seem to hope for the best and plan for the best."

Who turned out to be right in the end? The federal government and its apocalyptic predictions, or BP’s Tony Hayward, who said that the Gulf would basically take care of the oil itself?

The administration has said in court filings that the economic effect of suspended drilling wasn’t as severe as the industry asserted. In a filing with federal court in eastern Louisiana June 23, the day after a judge overturned the initial six-month halt, Justice Department attorneys said it affected 33 deepwater wells, "less than 1% of the existing structures in the Gulf dedicated to oil exploration and production." …

No, were are supposed to believe that the BP leak was the worst environment disaster in the history of mankind. And the moratorium isn’t going to hurt anyone.

This is your federal government at work.

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, August 21st, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “WH Knew Drill Ban Would Kill 23,000 Jobs”

  1. Liberals Demise says:

    Summer of Recovery……….more like……….Summer of Disappointment/Misery
    S.O.S. again!

  2. proreason says:

    “WH Knew Drill Ban Would Kill 23,000 Jobs”

    So what?

    2012 is a long time away.

    50,000 out of 10,000 shrimpers will collect gubamint checks.

    Roughnecks vote Republican when they bother to vote at all.

    What was the downside?


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