According to Greenwire:
The Obama administration today imposed new offshore drilling safety regulations, a move needed to end its moratorium on deepwater exploratory drilling, but it gave no indication of when that ban would be lifted.
Instead, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar promised the industry would face a “dynamic regulatory environment” in the weeks and months to come, as his department refines and further tightens its safety and environmental standards for offshore drilling.
In anticipation of this continuing assault, yesterday Louisiana Democrat Sen. Mary Landrieu was quoted saying the following about the Obama administration’s War on the Gulf Region, accompanying its War on the West (at the joint hearing on which I was pleased to offer testimony), as quoted by Politico:
“[T]he administration has not acted to lift its ill-conceived moratoria on offshore drilling that are having such a devastating impact on working people and small businesses throughout the Gulf Coast…
What is clear is that the administration, for whatever reason, has stood in defiance of our federal courts and disregarded economists, experts and its own economic data in proceeding down a path that is putting thousands of people out of work and hurting the bottom line of hundreds of small businesses,” Landrieu said. “The evidence is overwhelming that this moratorium is a poor economic policy and has achieved no safety improvements that could not have been achieved in its absence. Yet, the president and his key advisers have never acknowledged that fact.”
Fox News reported Landrieu calling the moratorium “a terrible error” and saying “This Administration has the entire exploration of oil and gas shut down in the Gulf of Mexico.”
Elsewhere she is quoted as saying:
“I find it stunning that the administration was aware that their actions might eliminate nearly 23,000 jobs in an already faltering economy, and proceeded anyway”.
And, finally, Landrieu says:
“The president’s policies right now are doing much more harm than the [BP] spill itself to the economy of the South coast. … It’s just gotten to a point where people in Louisiana ask, ‘Do they even understand what is going on down here?’ They have the entire offshore industry virtually shut down.”
Of course they understand what’s going on.
As Charles Krauthammer noted on FNC last night, it’s about the Obama White House’s mantra of never letting a good crisis go unexploited. This is their agenda — shut down domestic production of energy sources that work, force you onto those that do not work so well yet are spectacularly more expensive when they do — and place energy production and therefore, ever more of the economy’s fate in the state’s hands. It’s not complicated. All one need to do is listen to their admissions and vows.
Then the American people will with no doubt also understand what’s going on. And that can’t come too soon.
UPDATE: As posted this, the following came in in an email from Capitol Hill:
Senator Landrieu says: “We’ve got to get people back to work and it’s thousands of people, thousands of people that have been put out of work more from the moratorium than from the oil spill itself…. Let my people go. Let them go. Let them get back to work….”
The White House is calling Landrieu’s strong advocacy for Gulf Coast jobs and economy “sad and outrageous”.