Friday, June 18, 2010

Drilling moratorium may have broader effect on Gulf communities than oil-well blowout

The BP oil blowout in the Gulf of Mexico may end up affecting coastal communities not immediately in the oil's path, due to the Obama administration's six-month moratorium on all deepwater drilling. "The securities firm Raymond James & Associates predicts that the moratorium could last well into 2011, directly jeopardizing 50,000 jobs and potentially gutting blue-collar communities that rely heavily on the economic activity that comes with deepwater work," Tom Zeller Jr. of The New York Times reports. President Obama and BP announced Wednesday the company had voluntarily agreed to create a $100 million fund to compensate such rig workers.

"Just as the demise of auto plants and steel mills in the Upper Midwest devastated entire towns, an extended drilling ban could eventually have a similar effect in the Gulf Coast," Raymond James said in a report Monday. The Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association warned many of the affected rigs will look to drill in other countries, putting at risk the 800 to 1,400 jobs per rig, including third-party support personnel. "The halt in drilling in waters deeper than 500 feet came in response to the still-unchecked gusher of oil that followed the Deepwater Horizon explosion, which killed 11 workers," Zeller writes. "The goal was to give the government time to review the rules and oversight of such wells, and the shutdown was welcomed by many Americans who have watched the environmental disaster unfold."

Last week Louisiana Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu warned the moratorium could "potentially wreak economic havoc on this region that exceeds the havoc wreaked by the spill itself." President Obama justified the moratorium during his Oval Office address Tuesday, saying "I know this creates difficulty for the people who work on these rigs, but for the sake of their safety, and for the sake of the entire region, we need to know the facts before we allow deepwater drilling to continue." (Read more)


Anonymous said...

Way to go Obama - another knee-jerk reaction before taking the time to consider all the possible repercussions and amassing enough information to reach a sound plan of action.

Anonymous said...

Way to go, Obama - another knee-jerk reaction and a decision made before considering all the possible repercussions and gathering enough information to choose the very best course of action.