The Wall Street Journal: U.S. Saw Drill Ban Killing Many Jobs
Senior Obama administration officials concluded the federal moratorium on deepwater oil drilling would cost roughly 23,000 jobs, but went ahead with the ban because they didn’t trust the industry’s safety equipment and the government’s own inspection process, according to previously undisclosed documents.
Critics of the moratorium, including Gulf Coast political figures and oil-industry leaders, have said it is crippling the region’s economy, and some have called on the administration to make public its economic analysis. A federal judge who in June threw out an earlier six-month moratorium faulted the administration for playing down the economic effects.
After his action, administration officials considered alternatives and weighed the economic costs, the newly released documents show. The Justice Department filed them in a New Orleans court this week, in response to the latest round of litigation over the moratorium.
Spanning more than 27,000 pages, they provide an unusually detailed look at the debate about how to respond to legal and political opposition to the moratorium.
Well, at 27,000 pages of analysis, at least the Obama administration did its due diligence and actually weighed options and alternatives. The problem, however, is that when it comes to reality and the proper balance of environmental concern versus economic viability, the White House chose wrongly in instituting the moratorium.
I may or may not have previously dismissed the decision by the president to effectuate the moratorium as “knee-jerk.” I don’t remember — I was otherwise occupied by Bar study. If I did so, I was wrong. However, I stand by the assertion that the decision to implement the moratorium, when taken alongside other decisions made by this administration (such as Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s use of the Gulf oil spill to advocate tighter regulations on ON-shore drilling), shows a trend toward erring on the side of government control regardless of the merits of such a usurpation.