One organization that should be jumping with joy at the American moratorium on offshore drilling is OPEC. After all, with a major source of American oil shut down, demand will increase for crude from the trade cartel’s member nations, meaning higher prices and profits. However, OPEC today declared that Barack Obama had “jump[ed] to conclusions” and should rescind the moratorium:
OPEC called Monday on the United States to reconsider a ban on new deep-water drilling that could hold back oilsupplies — despite safety concerns in the wake of the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Abdalla Salem El Badri, secretary-general of the 14-member Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, says offshore drilling is an important source of oil and any ban would be too hasty when the cause of the Gulf of Mexico spill is still unclear.
“We should not really ban it and we should not jump to conclusions,” he told reporters after meeting European Union officials in Brussels.
While Obama has taken an avalanche of criticism for not accepting assistance from foreign nations during the crisis, this is one offer Obama can feel safe in declining:
Iranian oil minister Masoud Mirkazemi told reporters at the same press conference that Iran was “ready to help” the U.S. with its own technical knowledge of capping blowouts. The U.S. is threatening to increase sanctions against Iran to deter it from developing nuclear weapons — a charge Tehran denies.
Did the White House jump to conclusions and overreact? Or did Obama instead use the crisis to cover his political flank on the Left by issuing a moratorium with no sound basis? Based on the fact that Ken Salazar and Interior materially misrepresented the findings of the President’s expert panel in order to justify the moratorium, it seems a lot more likely that the latter and not the former is true.