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We’d All Rather Forget This Anniversary

May 6, 2010

Today is the anniversary that no one is celebrating. One year ago today, President Obama placed a moratorium on all offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. The decision launched a year of misery for Americans at the gas pump, a year of hardship for 375,000 Gulf workers, and a year of bizarre statements by the White House.

Here’s what the past 365 days have seen:

  • Thousands of Gulf workers have lost their jobs, others have taken huge pay cuts, and everyone worries about how long they can hold out (see a short documentary on the bankruptcy of Seahawk Drilling here).
  • Gas prices have soared to $4 a gallon and threaten to hit to $5 a gallon by the summer. With transportation costs skyrocketing, prices for everything from food at the grocery store to clothes at department stores also have increased.
  • President Obama traveled to Brazil to tell its leaders that he was looking forward to importing more of their oil. “We want to help with technology and support to develop these oil reserves safely, and when you’re ready to start selling, we want to be one of your best customers,” Obama said.
  • Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told Congress that he was in favor of a “robust” oil and gas industry in this country — but then made it almost impossible to get a new drilling permit. He also told Congress that drilling rigs were not leaving the Gulf of Mexico — but rigs were leaving and drilling companies were going bankrupt. He said oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico was at an all-time high in March 2011 — but, in reality, production had fallen by over 30,000 barrels per day.

It’s all made for 365 days of pain. America is crying uncle. We’ve had enough.

One year is more than enough time for President Obama to end his de facto moratorium in the Gulf. It’s time he told his Washington bureaucrats to do their jobs — since they’re lucky enough to still have jobs — and start issuing deepwater drilling permits for new projects again. Let Gulf workers get back to work finding oil for America.

Now that would be one memorable anniversary gift to our nation.

Jim Adams

Jim Adams
President and CEO, Offshore Marine Service Association

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