A year ago today, President Barack Obama announced a moratorium on all deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. A knee-jerk reaction to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the moratorium might have made sense for a very brief period — and even that is debatable — but, a year later, the administration continues to punish the Gulf. While the official ban on drilling ended in October, the agency responsible for drilling permits has issued just 1 deepwater permit for truly new activity.
Nobody knows better what this inactivity means than Gulf residents who work in and around the oil and gas industry. Thomas Clements is the owner of CNC Machining, a small company in Broussard, La., that manufactures parts for oil field equipment. In the past year, he’s faced steep revenue declines — declines that threatened to put him out of business entirely. Todd Hornbeck, president and CEO of Hornbeck Offshore Services, a supplier of offshore transport services near New Orleans, has also experienced the negative impacts of the president’s energy policies.His company sued the administration over the moratorium — and the district court judge ruled in Hornbeck’s favor, calling the moratorium “arbitrary and capricious.” But the administration ignored the judge’s ruling, lifting one moratorium, only to issue a nearly identical one.
These men express a sense of betrayal: They never expected the U.S. government to be an obstacle to the success of their businesses. That betrayal is captured in the following video, released this week by The Heritage Foundation and the Institute for Energy Research.
Incidentally, this video was one of the last projects I worked on while at Heritage. While the team was in the Gulf, we met not only with the business owners in the video, but with several others. They all had the same story to tell: They provide energy, the administration provides obstacles. They also reminded us the administration’s anti-energy actions will have consequences for more than just the Gulf. The long-term impact on domestic energy production will affect us all.