Sunday, June 13, 2010

Obama administration should consider alternatives

Another fine editorial in today's New Orleans Times Picayune:

The Obama administration keeps defending its six-month moratorium on all deepwater drilling as if safety can't improve significantly without a broad-based ban.

That's hardly the case.

Scientists, industry experts and even the federal government have identified alternatives that could be quickly implemented to make drilling safer while allowing some oil rigs to continue operations. President Obama needs to consider these options to minimize the financial hardship for thousands of Louisianians.

It's not just thousands of Louisianians.  It's also thousands of Texans, Mississippians and Alabamians, too.  Oil and gas exploration and production are massive portions of the Gulf Coast economy. The moratorium puts people out of work and will send rigs to other parts of the world that are friendlier to deepwater exploration than the US.  Brazil, for example.

Two items in the editorial demonstrate that the moratorium is indeed all about politics and nothing about safety:  First, Dr. Robert Bea, one of the expert panelists whose review of Salazar's report recommending the moratorium, says that "word from DOI" was that the blanket moratorium was a White House request. Second, the Times-Picayune notes that 29 days after the President announced that he was forming a commission to review the Deepwater Horizon incident, he hasn't even appointed the members yet.  What's the holdup there, hoss?

Gimme some feedback in the comments.

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