American Elephants

Deepwater Drilling Permits Down by 71 Percent. Good Idea or Really Stupid? by The Elephant's Child

Nearly a year-and-a-half after the April 20, 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, the Obama administration is still dragging its feet in regulatory overreach in the Gulf.

Ten oil rigs have given up on waiting for the moratorium on deepwater oil and gas drilling imposed in May 2010 to be fully lifted and drilling allowed to resume.  They are: Marinas, Discover Americas, Ocean Endeavor, Ocean Confidence, Stena Forth, Clyde Bourdeaux, Enco 8503, Deep Ocean Clarion, Discover Spirit and Amirante.  They headed to Egypt, Congo, French Guiana, Liberia, Nigeria and Brazil.

Several of the remaining rigs may relocate soon, according to a report from the office of Sen. David Vitter (D-LA). They include the Paul Romano, the Ocean Monarch and the Saratoga.  Eight other rigs that were planned for the Gulf have been detoured away.

The big question is whether Obama’s moratorium was necessary in the first place. The moratorium did little to increase offshore operational safety procedures, and has done a tremendous amount to cripple the oil and gas industry and jeopardize our national security.

As a direct result of the drilling ban, we are losing approximately 500,000 barrels of oil production a day. Each of the ten rigs that left for other parts represents 500 direct and indirect American jobs.  According to the July 12th Gulf Permit Index, deepwater drilling permits are down by 71 percent from the historical average of 5.8 permits per month. Shallow water permits are down by 34 percent.

A report from IHS-CERA claims that faster permitting of offshore oil and gas projects could result in a $44 billion capital injection for the economy, and a significant boost in federal and state tax revenues. Without the moratorium, there could be nearly double the number of rigs operating instead of the current thirty-four now working.

The people of the world are losing patience with governmental interference in the environment in the name of global warming. And governments, under severe economic constraints, are slowly beginning to realize that they simply can’t afford the green dreams that have led their countries so far astray.

It seems so simple.  Just make fossil fuels expensive enough to force people to adopt clean green energy. So much can be accomplished with just a stroke of the pen in an executive order.  Shut down oil drilling, close the coal mines, more people will rely on clean green wind and solar power.  Electric cars will become more desirable as gas prices climb. Order the military to use alternate fuels for their equipment, green bullets and green bases.  People will ride comfortable high-speed rail. Cars and trucks will double their mpg.  Once all the government ordered-up innovation kicks in, jobs will again be plentiful and American leadership will show the world how to save the planet.

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