Obama Oil Spill Commission’s Dry Hole

posted at 11:15 am on January 18, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

Earlier this month, while the 24 hour news beast was busy with other stories, we learned that the President’s drilling commission had finished its investigative duties and published a 398 page report on last year’s Gulf oil spill. In it, we were told, we would learn the root causes for the failure, who was to blame and what should be done next. Sadly, in true bureaucratic fashion, the fruits of their labors seem to be a lot of smoke and very little in the way of actual fire. As this Investors Business Daily editorial points out, the commission’s report is short on answers but very long on blame.

A commission appointed to investigate BP’s well disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and recommend ways to drill safely has labored mightily and produced the functional equivalent of a tar ball.

The National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling cites the “incredible incompetence” of British Petroleum and its upper management in at least nine specific decisions. Then it unjustifiably extrapolates BP’s errors to the entire oil industry, whose safety record is ignored.

It mattered not that between 1969 and 2009 oil companies drilled more than 50,000 offshore wells without a serious mishap. Brazil, Britain, Norway and others drill safely offshore. No major spills were recorded when hurricanes Katrina and Rita roared through some 3,050 offshore oil and gas platforms operating in the Gulf.

Besides blaming an entire industry with an impeccable safety record for BP’s failure, the commission also ignores the failure of federal oversight or advance preparation for such a spill and recommends the creation of another entirely new federal agency to oversee all offshore oil and gas drilling.

An analysis from the Wall Street Journal didn’t look on the report any more favorably. They note that the commission goes to great lengths to point out a number of things they don’t know about what caused the accident – beyond simple human error in the hours leading up to the event – but then go on to essentially blame the entire industry for what may or may not be the root cause of the problem.

Having a group of government busybodies produce a pile of essentially worthless paper is nothing unusual in Washington, DC. But this particular one is having a very real and chilling effect on both jobs and energy independence.

Since the Gulf drilling moratorium allegedly ended three months ago, only two new drilling permits have been issued, the Heritage Foundation reports, adding that new drilling permits are down 88% from their historical average. Even shallow-water permits, supposedly unaffected by the moratorium, are down 11%.

The Energy Information Administration said last month that offshore oil production in 2011 would decline 13% from 2010 due to the effects of the moratorium and the snail’s-pace permitting process. That’s about 220,000 fewer barrels of oil per day.

I seem to recall something about the Obama administration “getting the message” after the last election, and about the president’s readiness to focus in like a laser on jobs and the economy. Well, this report is being used as cover in slowing the permit process down to a snail’s pace, while jobs and a huge economic shot in the arm sail off to other parts of the world along with the oil rigs which are being moved away. (A process which has been going on since last summer.)

If the permit process isn’t brought back up to speed soon the real toll in jobs and economic stagnation will continue to mount. And once a rig is moved off to Brazil and put to work, there is little incentive for the company to move it back to U.S. waters. In the midst of a crisis, a real leader leads, and this situation won’t stay on the back burner for long. It’s time for congress to get the president’s attention back on this issue.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Mission accomplished!

Inanemergencydial on January 18, 2011 at 11:17 AM

A commission appointed to investigate BP’s well disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and recommend ways to drill safely has labored mightily and produced the functional equivalent of a tar ball

In other words, they’ve got jack and squat.

ted c on January 18, 2011 at 11:17 AM

Obama Oil Spill Commission’s Dry Hole

This could be a catch all phrase for his entire administration.

right2bright on January 18, 2011 at 11:19 AM

But this particular one is having a very real and chilling effect on both jobs and energy independence.

the hell you say….I woulda thought that this commission would’ve searched for the truth and reported it rather than beginning at the end and then papering over the incident to arrive at that end.

ted c on January 18, 2011 at 11:19 AM

“just can’t suck it up with a straw….”

ted c on January 18, 2011 at 11:20 AM

“Daddy, is your dry hole plugged with a 400pg report yet?”

ted c on January 18, 2011 at 11:20 AM

Truly this is the defining metaphor for ogabe’s regime.

Inanemergencydial on January 18, 2011 at 11:21 AM

America collects 18% royalty on all offshore oil. We need the money. Obama wanted to reduce dependence on foreign oil. His agenda increases oil imports.

seven on January 18, 2011 at 11:22 AM

all you had to do was look up the people on the commission to know this was a farce.

upinak on January 18, 2011 at 11:23 AM

Has to be a reference to Bush somewhere in the report…

cyclown on January 18, 2011 at 11:23 AM

Obama WANTS higher energy prices, higher gasoline prices. He has said so repeatedly.

Mord on January 18, 2011 at 11:24 AM

Seems to be a pattern, the health care industry, the insurance industry, the drug industry, Toyota auto manufacturers, the food industry and on and on.

fourdeucer on January 18, 2011 at 11:27 AM

$5+ per gallon gas will have the American public sending PBHO a reminder of the message sent last November, not that he will give a crap.

Bishop on January 18, 2011 at 11:28 AM

O’s DryHole #2:

http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/opinion-zone/2011/01/epa-just-cant-help-itself

Decade of review and analysis- check
EPA permits approved in 2007- check
250 million invested since- check
250 jobs on the line- check

EPA pulls approval last week- check

journeyintothewhirlwind on January 18, 2011 at 11:30 AM

Maybe the government approving a single walled casing well design for a deepwater experimental drilling, could be at the root cause. The single walled, government approved single walled casing failed.

But then there is the filling of the billion dollar ‘boat’ formerly known as “Deepwater Horizon” with water, could have caused it to sink. But who in the coast guard knew filling a ‘boat’ with water and causing it to sink was a bad idea. At least the fire went out. Next time the Coast Guard should read the Coast Guard manual they wrote about floating oil rig fires — use foam, not water.

But hey what do you expect MMS to know about oil drilling, don’t they just take in contributions?

You expected more from government? Hah … At least MMS got a brand new name!!!

tarpon on January 18, 2011 at 11:31 AM

“Daddy, is your dry hole plugged with a 400pg report yet?”

ted c on January 18, 2011 at 11:20 AM

He must pass it to see what’s in it.

Electrongod on January 18, 2011 at 11:31 AM

O’s Dryhole # 3

Solar- taxpayer money lost on companies that came and went:

58million-Mass
8 million- NY
535 million-Solyndra-Ca
400 million-Spain

All connected to Dems

journeyintothewhirlwind on January 18, 2011 at 11:33 AM

http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/01/obamas_solar_nightmare.html

journeyintothewhirlwind on January 18, 2011 at 11:34 AM

Another reason for Sarah to run and beat the crap out of PBHO.

BetseyRoss on January 18, 2011 at 11:35 AM

When The One was speaking about “spreading the wealth around”, he wasn’t talking about just to the poor US citizens.

There are all sorts of poor people who some our wealth.

BobMbx on January 18, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Say what you want about the report…Obama still got what he wanted, he shut down our oil production. Soros couldn’t be happier, OPEC couldn’t be more excited, environmentalists are just happy little campers, anti-corporation Marxist/communist/all “ists” are giddy.
The report is just a door stop, the real event, the real issue has been dealt with…stopping energy production in the U.S. And we, the new congress, haven’t even began addressing that yet.

right2bright on January 18, 2011 at 11:46 AM

Anybody have any thoughts on the announcement today that Obama is going to “review” every federal regulation to make sure it does not interfere with job creation?

Personally, I find the announcement funny since, within the last 48 hours, he has essentially begun the process of destroying the coal mining community in West Virginia via EPA REGULATION! Talk about a job killer! Yet, today, via smoke and mirror rhetoric, he is suddenly concerned about the same regulation he has been responsible for via both Obamacare and his own environmental edicts?!

The announcement today and the orders/regulations we have seen put forth on both the offshore drilling and coal mining communities dont exactly jive together, ya know?

I smell window dressing in order to get re-elected. The right hand preaches a world free of stifling regulation, while the left hand (which nobody is watching) goes in the oppositie direction.

Indy82 on January 18, 2011 at 11:46 AM

it also spent a lot of time saying Bobby Jindal did nothing but grandstand. Of course that’s a load of bunk because a governor with a coast guard entourage is going to keep dirty marshes a secret so he can just attack obama and the cleanup efforts.

uh-huh, that makes a lot of sense.

MFn G I M P on January 18, 2011 at 11:48 AM

Obama simply wants to use up all the foreign oil first.

Jocundus on January 18, 2011 at 11:51 AM

This also demonstrates what unadulterated horse manure Barack’s W.S.J. op-ed on regulation is. Not only is he destroying the oil industry, the EPA has set its sights on coal and vetoed permits for Arch Energy (did I use the word “sights”? Yes I did). If he means what he says and it’s not words just words, he should fire Lisa Jackson post haste.

Meanwhile, Lisa Jackson participated in a Day of Service yesterday. How does putting people out of work in Appalachia, and causing electricity costs to skyrocket help the poor?

Buy Danish on January 18, 2011 at 11:56 AM

$5+ per gallon gas will have the American public sending PBHO a reminder of the message sent last November, not that he will give a crap.

Bishop on January 18, 2011 at 11:28 AM

Can Øbama win in 2012 if gas is $5+ at the pump?

petefrt on January 18, 2011 at 11:57 AM

“This also demonstrates what unadulterated horse manure Barack’s W.S.J. op-ed on regulation is.”

I couldnt agree more.

Indy82 on January 18, 2011 at 12:04 PM

What is amazing as oil nears the $100 mark and gas is certain to breech old highs unless supplies and refineries are upscaled, the GOP hasn’t even lambasted the left’s clear attempt to stop our our economic engine dead with this whacko enviro-weapon. Why not just hand Marx the keys to the country? How can you not respond to this “Pearl Harbor” level of attack on our national survival? The GOP can regain power in DC only by attacking and blaiming the destructive eco-policies of the left directly. Let the people choose, but for gosh sake, give them a choice and a reason to chose the GOP. Again, the choice may have to be – third party.

Don L on January 18, 2011 at 12:06 PM

I couldnt agree more.
Indy82 on January 18, 2011 at 12:04 PM

I’m going to rewrite that sentence since it was poorly constructed:

This also demonstrates that Barack’s W.S.J. op-ed on regulation is unadulterated horse manure.

Buy Danish on January 18, 2011 at 12:07 PM

Anybody have any thoughts on the announcement today that Obama is going to “review” every federal regulation to make sure it does not interfere with job creation?

Personally, I find the announcement funny since, within the last 48 hours, he has essentially begun the process of destroying the coal mining community in West Virginia via EPA REGULATION! Talk about a job killer! Yet, today, via smoke and mirror rhetoric, he is suddenly concerned about the same regulation he has been responsible for via both Obamacare and his own environmental edicts?!

The announcement today and the orders/regulations we have seen put forth on both the offshore drilling and coal mining communities dont exactly jive together, ya know?

I smell window dressing in order to get re-elected. The right hand preaches a world free of stifling regulation, while the left hand (which nobody is watching) goes in the oppositie direction.

Indy82 on January 18, 2011 at 11:46 AM

If this is anything like his laser-like focus on jobs, he is experiencing serious blooming problems. Of course it is created by his own warped lens. Here’s to hoping we all have some change in our pockets.

TQM38a on January 18, 2011 at 12:10 PM

I seem to recall something about the Obama administration “getting the message” after the last election

The only message Obama got was “don’t be so blatant”.

GarandFan on January 18, 2011 at 12:12 PM

And then there’s this:

Texas is suing to stop the EPA from implementing a plan to regulate greenhouse gases. Texas is the only state that has refused to comply with the rules, which took effect Jan. 2.

The EPA took the unprecedented step last month of announcing it will directly issue permits to Texas industries after the state openly refused to comply with the regulations.

Buy Danish on January 18, 2011 at 12:18 PM

In addition to the Arch coal permit fiasco – from RedState:

We presently have an oil drilling moratorium in parts of the Gulf and eastern seaboard. And Governor David Paterson of New York recently signed into law a ban on horizontal natural gas hydro-fracking under pressure of the ACORN-founded Working Families Party.

Now our coal is at risk. What’s left, my friends?

Buy Danish on January 18, 2011 at 12:52 PM

I seem to recall something about the Obama administration “getting the message” after the last election, and about the president’s readiness to focus in like a laser on jobs and the economy.

Yeah. Those are sharks with laserbeams attached to their heads.

J_Crater on January 18, 2011 at 1:31 PM

Obama Administration…………DRY HOLE FOR AMERICA……

……GUSHER FOR CHINA!!!!

PappyD61 on January 18, 2011 at 1:40 PM

By what logic would any president want to cripple the oil and gas industry, causing unemployment and inflation at the same time?

It’s almost like he wants the country to suffer.

tom on January 18, 2011 at 1:55 PM

The redistribution of wealth at the macro level is just beginning. When he was in the senate, Obama sponsored legislation to “end global poverty”. What better way than to kill domestic production capabilities while assuring the production assets move to other “developing” nations like Mexico and Brazil. Redistribution of American wealth will then take place through the purchase of oil from other nations.

No messy legislation or debate required…it was just “market forces” that caused the drilling rigs to move off the Brazilian coast to drill in water three times deeper than the “globally dangerous” depths of the Gulf of Mexico…and with $5B of US grants to PetroBas to kick things off.

As Obama is now fond of saying: “There is more than one way to skin a cat.”

in_awe on January 18, 2011 at 8:16 PM