Friday, 09 July 2010 05:55
BP Oil Spill: Obama’s Gulf Deep Water Drilling Halt Should Get Out The Way
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The offshore deepwater drilling moratorium took another hit on Thursday when the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, in New Orleans, declined the federal government’s effort to restore the pause in certain Gulf of Mexico drilling activity.

So what?

After Thursday’s hearing Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said, “We have very serious concerns that the Department of Interior is going to announce a second moratorium. As members of the court pointed out today during the hearing, despite the injunction against the original moratorium, we currently have a de facto moratorium because of uncertainty from the Department of Interior".

And Interior Department spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff said after the ruling, "We continue to believe that it is not appropriate to drill new deepwater wells in the Gulf until we can be assured that future drilling activity can be conducted in a safe and environmentally responsible manner".

The Obama administration through the Interior Department imposed the deepwater drilling moratorium after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded which has resulted in what is known as the BP Oil Spill.

So at this time, with the federal government poised to continue to argue its case before the entire Appeals Court late in August, and with the possibility of a new moratorium to be instituted by the Obama administration, oil drilling and related service companies are indeed on hold.

So are the families of the workers of these companies and the thousands of other businesses who generate their revenues from the industry.

It does seem odd that a state (Louisiana) and its people--who are urging the federal government to jump over mountains to help stop the BP oil leak, contain the spillage, clean up the Gulf of Mexico and adjacent oil-spoiled marsh and waters--want the federal government to halt this oil drilling moratorium.

However, despite the obvious economic reasons for wanting to continue the drilling, the federal government has not explained why it is inappropriate to drill new deepwater wells. 

The federal government has not explained why drilling activity in the Gulf of Mexico cannot be conducted in a safe and environmentally responsible way.

Until it does so, and until it shows that the probabilities of another disaster will occur are high, it should allow for drilling to resume.  Otherwise, the inflicted oil workers in Louisiana will likely do just what President Obama reportedly has suggested to the President of Lafourche Parish—the workers will have to go on unemployment.
Unemployment is not the answer. 

This is not the way Louisiana works.  It is not the way the US government should work either.

The Obama Administration must show why the region and the nation are at so much risk, or else, it should lead with sensibility.  Alternatively, as Governor Jindal often says, it should “get out of the way”

by Stephen Sabludowsky, Publisher of

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