Obama Defies Court with Second Moratorium

The Obama administration issued a second drilling moratorium diktat for the Gulf of Mexico yesterday in defiance of — in the very least — the spirit of the ruling by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced Monday that this new ban on deepwater drilling was different than the one just thrown out of court.

The administration is fully aware that every moment they delay heightens the possibility that deepwater drilling companies will be forced to move to other countries or go bankrupt sitting idle.  The Ocean Endeavor deepwater rig began the move from the Gulf to Egypt on Friday.

Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), a member of the House Natural Resources Committee, has been a leader in the effort to block the job-killing Obama moratorium.

“This notion of a ‘pause’ is absurd.  Our economy is not a DVD player, where the government can just push play or pause on a whim.  These rigs won’t pause.  They’ll keep drilling, but in Africa or Brazil, with African and Brazilian workers instead of Americans,” Cassidy told HUMAN EVENTS after the announcement.  “It could be years before these jobs come back.  You can’t pause our economy’s thirst for 20 million gallons of oil a day.  The oil has to come from somewhere.  If it’s not produced in Louisiana, it will be imported from abroad in tankers, which are statistically more likely to result in spills than rigs.”

“Ultimately, this decision means fewer jobs, less energy security, and a greater likelihood of future spills,” Cassidy said.

This new assault on jobs in the Gulf Coast region has been particularly difficult in the wake of the steep drop in tourism and the oil leak’s impact to the seafood industry.

“What does the administration have against Louisianans having jobs?” Cassidy added.

Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ohio), Chairman of the House Republican Conference and the American Energy Solutions Group, weighed in on Obama’s new moratorium pronouncement.

“Families and small businesses along our Gulf coast have suffered greatly while they wait for the spill to be stopped and cleaned up. They cannot afford to have their misery compounded by the Obama Administration’s job-killing agenda.  The president’s relentless effort to stop deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico is threatening to ruin an already devastated economy,” Pence said.

“President Obama’s latest drilling moratorium will also make Americans more reliant on potentially unstable regimes. That means oil will be transported thousands of miles to the U.S. on tankers that have historically accounted for more spills than have drilling platforms,” Pence added.  “It’s time for this administration to stop imposing their jobs-killing agenda on America and instead stop the leak in the Gulf.”

Republican Study Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.) called the moratorium stubborn opportunism.

“Americans want leaders who respond to crises with competence, not stubborn opportunism,” Price said.  “President Obama’s moratorium will inflict terrible harm on the people whose livelihoods rely on the production of American-made energy while doing nothing to accelerate the cleanup of the oil spill.  The administration’s sluggish response to this tragedy and its refusal to cut the red tape that has hampered cleanup efforts do not justify imposing job-killing ideological policies."

“The Gulf region is already suffering both economically and environmentally from the effects of this disastrous oil spill.  Taking jobs away from Gulf state residents in the energy sector will only compound the economic devastation.  This moratorium is a politically convenient distraction that happens to be destroying thousands of jobs.  Right now, the focus should be on cleaning up the spill and helping the Gulf region recover,” Price added.

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