From the "things they probably wish they hadn't said" desk, the Financial Times reports that employees of Mariner Energy, the owner of the oil platform that exploded this morning, were apparently in Houston on Wednesday to protest the offshore drilling moratorium:
"I have been in the oil and gas industry for 40 years, and this administration is trying to break us," said Barbara Dianne Hagood, senior landman for Mariner Energy, a small company. "The moratorium they imposed is going to be a financial disaster for the gulf coast, gulf coast employees and gulf coast residents."
Hagood isn't the only one with bad timing. Minutes after the initial reports of the latest explosion, the fossil fuels front group Institute for Energy Research blasted out an email asking supporters to write to the Obama administration and ask for an end the temporary moratorium on new deepwater drilling.
From the email:
That's not fair to the 23,000 people in the Gulf forecasted to lose their jobs as a result of Obama's moratorium on deepwater drilling, according to the Department of the Interior.
The moratorium won't just affect the people working in the energy field. The impacts will be felt across the country in the form of:
- Higher energy prices
- More expensive goods and services
- Fewer jobs
This needs to be reversed. The Oil Spill Commission has to hear the truth: that we should be producing more energy in America, not less. Producing energy here lowers prices and creates jobs—exactly what we should be doing during this recession.
Of course, the moratorium was put in place so regulators could evaluate whether offshore drilling can be done safely. And despite the outcry from the industry, the moratorium is only temporary (six months), and it's only on new exploratory operations. It doesn't even touch the existing deepwater platforms, or drilling in shallow waters. If anything, today's news should be an indicator that we need to take the time to evaluate all offshore operations.
(h/t to Think Progress for the FT report.)