Obama WH knew drilling moratorium would cost 23,000 jobs

posted at 12:15 pm on August 23, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Remember in December when the White House said it would make a “hard pivot” from health care to jobs?  That “hard pivot” didn’t materialize until months later, and in a completely different form than one might have assumed.  The Wall Street Journal reports that the Obama administration’s moratorium on drilling in the Gulf cost Americans 23,000 jobs — and that Barack Obama knew it when he ordered it:

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.

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. …

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.”

This may have been a necessary tradeoff if the moratorium was really the needed solution.  However, even the President’s own task force on the Gulf crisis didn’t believe it to be necessary.  They publicly rebuked the White House for misleading the public by linking the ban to their analysis of the disaster, which never contemplated a blanket moratorium.

In the end, the moratorium replaced action by the administration to address the critical failings in its own regulatory regime:

In another document, William Hauser, chief of the regulations and standards branch of what was formerly called the Minerals Management Service, outlined the risks of various drilling activities in an email to colleagues and then wrote: “The more I write this stuff the more I believe we can/should/could regulate/stop activities through a prudent management process versus a moratoria scheme.”

He added, “I guess the moratoria approach is necessary because the MMS cannot be trusted to regulate.” Mr. Hauser couldn’t be reached for comment Friday.

Rather than fix their own problems (which, to be fair, predated this administration as well as continued under Obama and Salazar), Obama and his team instead imposed the ban, killing thousands of jobs and setting back the economy of the Gulf by years — literally.  The capital equipment needed to produce oil in the Gulf has begun to disperse to foreign waters, thanks to the government’s refusal to allow continued drilling by companies that had nothing to do with Deepwater Horizon.  Any new drilling will take years to restart if those rigs float away to other resources, and the capital investment that created today’s rigs may not be as easy to acquire in the wake of the arbitrary nature of Obama’s actions.

That’s one of the reasons why we’re already having trouble producing jobs.  This is just a microcosm of Obamanomics.


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Comment pages: 1 2

I’d like to drill into Obama’s heart to see if there is anything under the surface.

leftnomore on August 23, 2010 at 3:24 PM

Obama is a spiteful man. Oklahoma has suffered much damage from tornados, flooding, and a very bad hail storm this summer. The governor requested government assistance for at least two of these disasters, and was turned down on both. No county voted for Obama in the election here, so I guess he’s all about the revenge. I’ve never seen anything like him and I’m over 65.

silvernana on August 23, 2010 at 4:16 PM

What redress of grievances do the affected states or industries have to right this abuse of power? We have a federal government that is out of control and unanswerable to the electorate. Non-elected agencies and “czars” are destroying our economy and our freedoms.

onlineanalyst on August 23, 2010 at 5:42 PM

Imam Obowma’s Katrina…!

Seven Percent Solution on August 23, 2010 at 5:44 PM

Yes, but it is after all 23,000 of the wrong kind of jobs. So there is really no loss here. Those people will be much better off on government assistance. Move along citizen no story here.

Tommy_G on August 23, 2010 at 5:49 PM

Sickening. Too bad one of those jobs wasn’t Obama’s

CWforFreedom on August 23, 2010 at 5:58 PM

What redress of grievances do the affected states or industries have to right this abuse of power? We have a federal government that is out of control and unanswerable to the electorate. Non-elected agencies and “czars” are destroying our economy and our freedoms.

onlineanalyst on August 23, 2010 at 5:42 PM

Consider that a ruler unrestrained by law or constitution is defined as a: Tyrant

And a regime characterized as tyrannical is considered to Oppressive.

That’s the term we should use for this regime.

Fake8 on August 23, 2010 at 5:59 PM

No single man has destroyed so much American property or wealth since Sherman marched the Union army through the south.

bloviator on August 23, 2010 at 6:02 PM

Saved or created 17% unemployment.
More drilling jobs shipped to Brazil for his buddy Soros.
A safety award given by Obowma to his chief of staffs
roommate, A BP manager.
More demand for foreign oil, with more jobs shipped
overseas.
TRILLIONS lost in home equity.
Obowma healthcare costs through the roof that no one wants.

You da man Obowma. Why are his poll numbers dropping?

dthorny on August 23, 2010 at 6:08 PM

Remember in December when the White House said it would make a “hard pivot” from health care to jobs?

That was a typo… they meant “divot”.

It’s a golfing metaphor. By swinging away at healthcare “reform”, they acknowledged they were going to miss the ball and gouge a chunk out of the national jobs figures.

malclave on August 23, 2010 at 6:12 PM

silvernana on August 23, 2010 at 4:16 PM

Obowma has ONLY assisted democrat states, every republican state he has never assisted during these issues: Arizona, Louisiana, Georgia, Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Tennessee the states affected by the Mississippi River flood last year all are republican states he avoided helping financially.
Obowma is ALL about the “d” for driving off a cliff, we needto vote “R” to prevent the sudden impact.

dthorny on August 23, 2010 at 6:14 PM

I’d like to drill into Obama’s heart to see if there is anything under the surface.

leftnomore on August 23, 2010 at 3:24 PM

No kidding! That picture really is a visual for your comment.

wi farmgirl on August 23, 2010 at 6:21 PM

OT: SEIU president is in Puerto Rico now http://thepalinexpress.blogspot.com (my blog)

I translated the PR news article. I am tweeting around as I type. IMHO this lady is gonna use the union members that are in PR as cannon fodder to the US, add to the mess in AZ, and what’s sad is that the union guys and gals in PR will be clueless as to SEIU’s agenda.

If I get a gist of what else she’s up to I will follow up. THANKS FOR YOUR PRAYERS, GRANDMA IS OKAY!! :D After a quick procedure, everything’s normal and will gain strength and go home! YAY!

ProudPalinFan on August 23, 2010 at 6:25 PM

wait a minute, WAIT A MINUTE!!!!!!

I got my shocked face around here someplace………

RealMc on August 23, 2010 at 6:39 PM

You only need the word “knew” to make a powerful statement and another case against Obama.

Send him 23,000 golf balls for each job lost but not saved. Jerk.

ProudPalinFan on August 23, 2010 at 6:44 PM

Another 23,000 dependent on the gubbermint.
Mission accomplished, Husein

Bevan on August 23, 2010 at 6:46 PM

Obama in da House! He is not my president and not our president but a bum living in the White House who needs the bum`s rush. That is why I recommend we switch to a parliamentary form of government just for Obama in the upcoming elections.

Yes. I know it is just a fantasy just as I wish Obummer was just a nightmare we could wake up from.

The man is rotten and we need some mechanism for removing presidents who don`t uphold the Constitution and/or who are proven to be ruining the very country they are sworn to protect. Something akin to us having no idea whatsoever that islamists would crash major airline passenger aircraft laden with passengers and fuel into the World Trade Center. It was unthinkable. And I am not forgetting the Pentagon and the brave souls of flight 93. Obama is the unthinkable president. But he happened, too: the unimaginable. I would like to say never again to his ilk!

And ruining is no exaggeration. The man is ruining this country in so many quantifiable and verifiable ways.

I despise Obama.

IdeO!

Sherman1864 on August 23, 2010 at 6:53 PM

Where are the Republicans with this? Every single Democrat should be pounded for this in the Gulf States, in addition to revealing the money trail from the bail outs to the unions, the banks, Fannie & Freddie, etc.

What has a single Democratic policy proven, other than they cannot govern responsibly…

Note to Republicans… You have a way to go to separate yourselves from this mess. Be concrete stating how this will be fixed… if it’ll simply be more of the same… Then the only way toget rid of all these bums is to forcibly evict them from DC.

Danny on August 23, 2010 at 6:57 PM

Your contribution to this thread is both generous and welcome. You truly have a gift.

\do I really need to?

Johnnyreb on August 23, 2010 at 12:19 PM

Hmm…I am truly not convinced yet that Obama is a lib dbag. Think I need MORE stories about what a POS he is. Glad they make you feel better, but no poster has ever been fed by a negative Obama story.

Is anyone keeping score on these?

ClassicCon on August 23, 2010 at 7:08 PM

Send him 23,000 golf balls for each job lost but not saved. Jerk.

ProudPalinFan on August 23, 2010 at 6:44 PM

That is actually an awesome idea. Anyone know someone in the golf ball business? They could get the sales AND send a message. Can you imagine ? It would be very telling AND hilarious.

CWforFreedom on August 23, 2010 at 7:08 PM

CW, I’ll throw it out there; it should be a Republican right-swinger *pun intended* conservative mega-millionaire.

Let’s get the ball rolling! *another one, could not resist*

ProudPalinFan on August 23, 2010 at 7:14 PM

PPF hell Rush should do it.

CWforFreedom on August 23, 2010 at 7:18 PM

CW, megadittos! Dayum I will send him an email. Can stuff ‘em in his private jet and send it straight to Martha’s Vineyard! Heh!

ProudPalinFan on August 23, 2010 at 7:35 PM

Obama WH knew drilling moratorium would cost 23,000,000 jobs votes.

Akzed on August 23, 2010 at 7:41 PM

No single man has destroyed so much American property or wealth since Sherman marched the Union army through the south.

bloviator on August 23, 2010 at 6:02 PM

You may be right. This destruction of property and wealth was viewed by Sherman as a way to divide the Confederacy and weaken it at its base, thus bringing the reality of war to those who had been safe at home funding it while Southern men died fighting it. Correct, he limited his destruction to property while issuing strict orders protecting civilians.

Of course he freed many many slaves along his march and I think they were happy about that result. Many followed him and some served as “pioneers” to aid Sherman`s progress.

Not to mention aiding his boss Grant in bringing the war to an end.

Not that your mentioning Sherman is germane in anyway to the discussion here.

History is fun, tho`, is it not?

Sherman1864 on August 23, 2010 at 8:19 PM

On the subject of jobs, no expert. But I’ll bet that if it’s researched that for every job he adds in DC one or possibly two is lost in the private sector. Perhaps not right away, but down the line as it’s the private sector that has to subsidize the over grown government the Dems have created, and are still creating, in DC.

jeanie on August 23, 2010 at 8:41 PM

Massive jobs are leaking from the Democrat Pipeline. Plug the leak on NOvember 2.

TN Mom on August 23, 2010 at 9:23 PM

I’ve been self employed since 2008 and actually did quite well on my own. Since the Obamacle Debacle over health care I don’t have a business anymore. The reason is that everything is contracting (sucking wind)… Nobody knows what to expect next so everyone’s going broke.

FUBO. Americans will always find a way, so make no mistake. You might think your some kind of king but in the eyes of average Americans you are a nuisance and a menace that will be eliminated starting with your party in 2010 and finishing with you when you are flushed from our memories as the Worst Mistake Ever Made in the History of our Nation, perpetrated through fraud, deceit, manipulation, and naked lies.

The name obama will always be equated with failure.

Key West Reader on August 23, 2010 at 10:12 PM

Sunk? Are you kidding? People don’t really care about those particular jobs.

They care about pictures of oil-covered seagulls, who are truly terrible critters in real life.

Good gravy. Real jobs? Nobody relates!

AnninCA on August 24, 2010 at 12:25 AM

Big picture: (1)Exploit every disaster, crisis, division in our nation by creating as much disruption in the lives of as many citizens as possible. (2)Play the big “Haves” vs. “Have-nots” card to incite the big bomb in our society, the unemployed/underemployed youth, who have historically been the seeds of disruption/destruction in many societies. (3)Take advantage of societal fears of anarchy to impose onerous government oversight of all aspects of our lives.
Result: Citizens become subjects.

trl on August 24, 2010 at 7:09 AM

I’ve been around since Harry Truman and I have never seen a president like this one. Not Truman, not Ike, not JFK, not LBJ, not Nixon, not Ford, not Carter…(OK, maybe Carter), certainly not Reagan, not George I, not Clinton, not George II. At least Carter wasn’t vindictive. He was just a fool. You put vindictive and fool together and we’ve got a real problem. The first thing the American people need to do is turn him into a eunuch in November by cutting off his Congress…then put him into permanent retirement in November, 2012. I don’t think the country can take eight years of this SOB.

sdd on August 24, 2010 at 7:52 AM

23,000 jobs? So what’s the big deal? They can always draw unemployment comp. — B. H. Obama

petefrt on August 24, 2010 at 9:07 AM

You gotta put the car in (D) if you want to go forward.
BadgerHawk on August 23, 2010 at 12:44 PM

Unless you’re on the edge of a very high cliff.

Nalea on August 24, 2010 at 10:56 AM

And it’s ALL being done DELIBERATELY!!! Imagine that!

capejasmine on August 24, 2010 at 11:18 AM

I missed something. If the judge threw it out, why is it still in place?

ladyingray on August 24, 2010 at 6:41 PM

jeanie on August 23, 2010 at 8:41 PM

This may help some:
http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2010/03/blog-post.html

I’ve heard 3 private sector jobs lost to every federal job.

dthorny on August 25, 2010 at 2:04 PM

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