No big party at the White House this week after the final chapter on the BP Gulf oil disaster was written. The hole is plugged, and I kind of expected a state dinner or something. What we get is the Executive Branch continuing their efforts to justify an oil drilling ban that was never justified in the first place.
The oil well leak problem is over. That’s not to say there are still issues to resolve, areas to clean up, research to be done, and sequels concerning the aftermath. But the blown-out BP well in the Gulf of Mexico has not leaked any oil in quite some time, and many Louisiana oil industry workers have not gone back to work.
Read this editorial in the Wall Street Journal. A taste…
The White House has been struggling to justify this ban, which was motivated by anti-drilling politics, not science. So it came as no surprise that late last week—just as the well was about to be plugged—the Administration issued an “inter-agency report” suggesting its decision to effectively shut down the Gulf’s largest industry has caused little economic damage. File this one alongside the prediction of an 8% ceiling on unemployment.
According to the analysis, the expected six-month ban on deep-water drilling will result in 8,000 to 12,000 jobs lost. The report crows that “these estimates are lower” than those predicted by other studies and that, moreover, the jobs will “not be permanently lost,” but will return when the ban is lifted. It acknowledges the ban will result in a reduction of some $1.8 billion in spending by drilling operators over the six months and a loss of 30 million barrels of oil in 2011, but dismisses these figures as trivial.
And this is a very relevant point…
For an Administration that loves to tout stimulus projects that create a handful jobs here or there, it takes some nerve to describe the loss of up to 12,000 high-paying Gulf jobs as a triumph.