The Obama administration’s trademark dithering is costing us dearly yet again.
WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)–Executives from oil and gas companies on Monday concluded an hour-long meeting with U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar without securing promises from the government to lift a deepwater-drilling moratorium imposed after a disastrous BP PLC (BP) oil spill.
The meeting included executives from BP, Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM); Chevron Corp. (CVX); Noble Energy (NBL), Transocean Ltd. (RIG); Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc. (DO); Hercules Offshore Inc. (HER); Rowan Cos. Inc. (RDC); and Seakhawk Drilling Inc. (HAWK), according to a person familiar with the matter. The heads of the American Petroleum Institute and the National Ocean Industries Association, trade groups for the industry, also attended the meeting at the Interior Department.
“Numerous operators told Secretary Salazar that they were in the final stages of moving rigs, deepwater rigs out of the Gulf of Mexico and to West Africa and the Middle East,” according to a person familiar with the matter. “We were frankly disappointed at the lack of serious attention that was paid by the Department of the Interior on the horrible economic impact that the Department of Interior’s policies are having on the industry and on communities along the Gulf Coast.”
Know what else goes away when those dirty, nasty rigs go away? Thousands of jobs and hundreds of thousands of dollars that would have gone to American states, American small businesses, and American tax coffers. To quote David Freddoso, “How’s that for off-shoring jobs?”.
But we don’t need jobs and economic activity right now, do we? We’re just humming right along! Who cares if we throw away a rig or 33?
UPDATE: Trog thinks the oil rig exodus isn’t so much a bug of the administration’s bumbling but a feature.