This month, one year since the Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, the Noble Clyde Boudreaux—an ultra-deepwater semi-submersible drilling rig—will start operations off the coast of Brazil. Until a few weeks ago it was stationed in the Gulf.
The two events are not unrelated. Moving the Noble out of U.S. waters is one of the adverse consequences of the Obama administration’s overreaction to last year’s Gulf spill.
Despite the president’s repeated claims that he’s been “encouraging” domestic oil production, administration policies have been driving drilling rigs out of the Gulf (six deepwater rigs in addition to the Noble have left the Gulf, with two more possibly on the way out). The overall result has been lower domestic oil production, slower economic growth, job losses and higher energy prices.
In the immediate aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon explosion and spill, President Obama announced a six-month moratorium on new deepwater drilling. According to the administration’s estimates, this cost nearly 19,000 jobs in the Gulf states alone—even though federal researchers then cut the figure by an ad hoc factor of 40%-60% to make the results more palatable.
In the months after lifting the ban, the administration slowed drilling permits to a crawl, effectively creating what some have called a “permatorium.” Dismayed by the delays, in February U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman tried to force the administration to act on seven pending permits, calling the inaction on permits “increasingly inexcusable.” Permitting has picked up recently, thanks in part to increasing political pressure, but remains far below pre-spill levels.
In December, the White House reversed course on its own five-year plan to open portions of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, the Mid-Atlantic and the South Atlantic to offshore exploration. This effectively locks up an estimated 7.6 billion barrels of oil and 36.6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
Do you know what happens when the supply of a commodity goes down? Prices go up! And when gas prices go up, the price of every consumer good that is shipped using trucks and planes and boats also goes up.
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- Government report: US has world’s largest supply of oil, natural gas and coal
- Is Obama causing gas prices to rise by restricting oil drilling?
- Obama continues to block oil drilling as gas prices rise
- “Clean energy” plant closes after receiving 58 million in subsidies
- LSU Professor: Repeal of oil industry tax credits will cost 150,000 jobs
- Offshore drilling moratorium would cost 175,000 jobs per year
- Venezuela legislature votes to nationalize 11 US-owned oil rigs
- Obama administration modifies report by experts
- How changing prices signal buyers and sellers in a free market economy
- Obama blocks drilling at home, makes loan to Soros-backed firm to drill in Brazil
- Obama raises taxes on oil and gas to stop global warming