Wednesday, July 28, 2010
It's not Obama's fault. Or is it?
From the Heritage Foundation:
What exactly does the administration have to be held accountable for? An environmental disaster made worse by federal incompetence. An unnecessary drilling moratorium that has pulled the plug on a Gulf economy already on life support. A claims process that was negotiated in secret, leaving few answers to why claims aren’t being processed and transparency is lost. A slow response that wasted clean weather days as hurricane season fast approaches, and a decision-making structure led by politics rather than duty.
Environmentally, the President and his eco-left echo chamber consciously chose to ignore the damage caused by the oil in favor of focusing on future tax increases that would expand government largesse. The President’s initial push for cap-and-trade taxes as a response to an oil spill was so disconnected and oblivious that it was quickly brushed off by the Democrat-controlled Senate. Even so, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said yesterday cap-and-trade taxes were still possible this year if any energy legislation passes the Senate and the bill goes to conference.
Details of the Reid-Boxer bill the Senate will market as a response to the oil spill released last night confirm that increased taxes are the Majority Leader's first priority regardless, with a "drastic increase" in the price of oil per barrel that will be paid at your local gas pump, breaking the President's promise that taxpayers would not foot the bill for the oil spill. Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) also said the bill would create a permanent "jobs moratorium" in the Gulf.
And while focus in Washington has remained on legislative matters, the President’s administration failed to issue emergency permits to protect Louisiana’s fragile coastline. Paid-for barriers were delivered, only to sit on the sidelines, as federal bureaucrats spent months debating three-year old emergency operations plans, only to decide not to implement protective measures.
Efforts were stopped to divert oil into more easily skimmed areas. The problem of skimming the oil was made even more increasingly difficult by the questionable dispersants, authorized by the EPA, which either drove the oil under water or diluted it into impossible-to-clean droplets. And even if the oil could’ve been easily skimmed, the skimmers simply weren’t deployed, whether by ignorance of the Jones Act or an unbelievable rigidity to emergency placement. Skimmers sat in ports across America waiting for another disaster while this one went ignored.
The drilling moratorium takes what is a terrible situation for Gulf residents and turns it into a long-term economic catastrophe. President Obama is not listening to any oil and gas experts as he implements a moratorium that could affect our energy production for a decade. Two federal courts have blocked the moratorium, yet the President ignores the rule of law and proceeds with a de facto moratorium regardless. Ports are cutting rental rates, jobs are being lost, rigs are leaving the Gulf in droves and confidence in American energy contracts is being shattered. Meanwhile, this doesn't affect rising demand, meaning an increasing dependence on foreign oil.