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On Today’s Permit News

March 24, 2011

News broke today that the Obama administration issued a single deepwater permit to explore oil in the Gulf of Mexico. It should say something that this is considered news… something extraordinary… like Man Bites Dog.

It’s been 301 days since the Obama Administration imposed a six-month moratorium on offshore drilling, and 163 days since it “ended.”  Now President Obama is making news for issuing the first new deepwater exploration permit. Yet while the Obama administration is calling reporters to tout a single permit, businesses are closing, employees are losing their jobs and the price of gasoline continues to rise.

Anyone who needs evidence of this need only read today’s Washington Post. Turn to page A19 and see what the Obama administration’s policies have wrought.

How to kill my company

By Randy Stilley

Last month, Seahawk Drilling declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy and announced the sale of its assets to shallow-water driller Hercules Offshore. This devastating decision was the culmination of a long period in which we found our customers unable to secure permits for work in the Gulf of Mexico despite the fact that both our industry and our company have excellent safety records. In the 11 months after the Deepwater Horizon accident, it became clear that Seahawk’s greatest rival was no longer our industry competitors but the U.S. government.

The government’s drastic slowdown in the issuance of permits for shallow-water drilling operations — in which companies work in familiar geological formations, typically in less than 500 feet of water, mostly seeking to produce natural gas — has all but crippled the industry. The survivors (for now) like Hercules are staying afloat largely thanks to revenue from operations outside U.S. waters. Put another way, a once-proud industry born in the gulf during the Truman administration can no longer survive on operations in its own back yard.

You can read the full op-ed here, because you certainly won’t read about this in any White House press release.

Jim Adams

Jim Adams
President and CEO, Offshore Marine Service Association


One Response to On Today’s Permit News

  1. Signer: Greg Bean

    I am a Capt. Ive been working in the Gulf oilfields for over 30 years and have never been laid off until now. We had an accident. So do Nuclear power plants. So does NASA, an agency with the most advanced safety procedures on the planet. This is an outrage. It has shut down my life. And many of my friends. My brother who works out there on the boats also got sent home the other day after 3 days of of work and $350.00 for a flight. We had to loan him the money to get back home cause his poor wife and children didn’t have the money. How does that make you feel Mr President? If I were you I wouldn’t be able to live with myself.

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