Saturday, June 26, 2010

Killing Jobs One Moratorium at a Time

Washington, Jun 25 - This week, the Honorable Martin Feldman, a Federal Judge for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, overruled the Obama administration’s moratorium on deepwater drilling. In his decision, Judge Feldman ruled that the six month ban for 33 wells was simply arbitrary and in essence, politically motivated.

In my view, the issue is simple. The administration claimed that it had consulted with experts and that according to them, the six month moratorium was necessary and based on sound science. However, when the experts themselves were asked following the announcement, they stated plainly that they had said no such thing.

President Obama has spent his entire year and a half in office substituting substantive policy - economic, environmental, and otherwise - for press releases and political posturing. This case is no different: Don’t have a plan for fixing the failed Mineral Management Service? Just give it a new name. Don’t have a real plan on how to respond to the crisis in the Gulf? Just impose a blanket moratorium on new drilling. Then, when the scientists don’t produce the preferred answers to justify that policy, just mischaracterize their findings.

At least that seems to be the approach so far.

The President has talked a great deal about jobs, but he has discarded thousands of them in the Gulf in a painfully transparent attempt to cover up his lack of leadership. That is just plain wrong. And, as the scientists whose conclusions were manipulated by the administration put it, the Obama White House’s moratorium does nothing but “punish the innocent.”

Taking a time out until it was clear that the right technology was in place made sense. That was a wise thing to do. But all thirty-three wells have now passed aggressive inspections verifying that fact. So why have an arbitrary six month moratorium?

The answer is that this policy is pure politics. The President has access to all of the experts anyone could ever need. I am just sorry, and I know the families of the unemployed rig workers are too, that the President has chosen to listen to his political advisors at the expense of everyone else. As an environmental, economic, and national security issue, this situation is too important for that.

From Congressman Ginny Brown-Waite of Florida

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