American Elephants

Yoo Hoo, Mr.Obama! Government Spending Doesn’t Create Jobs! by The Elephant's Child

Here’s Economist Dan Mitchell to explain why government spending doesn’t create jobs. Mr. Mitchell is a good explainer.  Do you suppose we cold get President Obama to listen?  Nah.  Didn’t think so. But you can be well informed.


Instead of Another Stimulus, How About Common Sense Regulation? by The Elephant's Child

If the Obama administration does not restore the pace of issuing drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico, as many as 20 drilling rigs could leave the Gulf  for other countries in other parts of the world, according to a report from BER Capital Investments, a major investment bank.

BER said that the slow pace of permitting is not simply political, but instead blames policies put in place after the spill.  “Rather than being political the Gulf of Mexico permitting drag is more reflective of the increased work required to issue each permit and the limited bureaucratic resources available” the report stated.  “As a result, we continue to expect continued slow recover of the deepwater permitting rate. ”

That rate is unsustainable and will lead to the departure of between 8 and 20 rigs from the Gulf. That is in addition to the 12 rigs that have already left for other parts of the world.  Most rigs have over 100 workers, the Deepwater Horizon rig had 126. And these are very high paying jobs.  Once a rig departs,  and goes to work elsewhere, it’s not coming back.

Chevron CEO John Watson said that the stringent requirements for permit applications enacted after last year’s oil spill have significantly increased the time it takes to get permits approved. The law states that the Department of the Interior (DOI) has 60 days to issue leases, and is not doing so.

A report from Wood MacKenzie’s analysts found that American policies which encourage te development of new and existing resources could, by 2030, increase domestic oil and natural gas production by over 10 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, support an additional 1.4 million jobs and raise over $800 billion of cumulative additional revenue for the government.  The report was released at a summit held by the American Petroleum Institute and The Hill newspaper.

Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA), speaking at the meeting, said that one proposal to expand exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge could generate between $150 billion and $300 billion in new federal revenue and create between 55,000 and 130,000 new jobs.  This is another example of Liberal “naming.” If you name the barren mudflats on the coast a “National Wildlife Refuge” and continually refer to them as “pristine wilderness,” assurances that drilling would only take a tiny amount of land and disturb no wildlife, have a hard time prevailing over preconceptions created by clever use of words.

There is immense potential for more plentiful and cheaper energy, for America is an energy-rich country. Bureaucrats who regulate want to be sure that every possible negative result is prevented so that in the case of disaster they cannot be blamed. Common sense goes out the window. When rules for arsenic in the water were being discussed, it was intended to require every municipality to have a water treatment facility to remove arsenic from the water. But there are only a few areas of the country where arsenic naturally occurs in the water. I don’t know how that one finally came out.

Regulation is an immense problem.  Regulation itself becomes the goal,  instead of getting the oil out of the ground safely. The goal should be minimizing regulation to the extent possible. It’s easy to set up a straw man argument accusing your adversaries of ignoring safety, not caring about harming people or wildlife if you want regulation minimized, but that is a cheap political argument. What if the government said that the goal for a community was clean water that tested free of arsenic, in order to protect the people and simply left how to get there up to the community?

President Obama demonstrated the straw man argument last night.  He said “I reject the idea that we have to help the economy by stripping away safety.” Nobody is suggesting that  we strip away safety. It’s a disgraceful way of arguing, and not designed to solve any problem, but only to win an argument.

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