Will White House Make BP Pay For Obama's Moratorium Disaster?

On May 27, President Obama instituted a six-month moratorium on all drilling in water depths greater than 500 feet and stopped work on 33 Gulf deepwater exploration rigs, except under special circumstances. The president’s decision will force tens of thousands of Gulf Coast employees to lose their jobs.

EnergyTomorrow Blog posted this information on the disastrous moratorium:

Several organizations have offered estimates of the drilling moratorium’s impact on consumers, the U.S. oil and natural industry, and the nation’s energy security:

  • Adam Sieminski of Deutsche Bank predicted that U.S. oil production could fall by 160,000 barrels of oil per day by next year. (Financial Times)
  • Bernstein Research said delays from the moratorium and rising costs stemming from new safety regulations are likely to raise the marginal cost of deepwater production by about 10 percent. (Financial Times)
  • Paul Cheng of Barclays Capital warned that the higher costs could eliminate small independent companies who compete for drilling projects against the majors. (Financial Times) He also predicted an 11 percent drop in deepwater oil production. (Houston Chronicle)
  • The Houston Chronicle reports that two large oil-services companies are relocating workers from the Gulf of Mexico to onshore North America drill sites and Brazil.
  • The National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) predicts that relocation is just part of the pain to be suffered by energy workers. Burt Adams, NOIA’s chairman, said in a statement, “the [president’s] order will be felt by the families of tens of thousands of offshore workers who will be unemployed.”

Last week it was reported that the Obama Administration misrepresented a study to push for their oil drilling moratorium. Of course, the state-run media has so far completely ignored this White House scandal.

Tonight Barack Obama will ask BP to set up an independently managed fund to cover economic and ecological damage claims.
CBS reported:

Mr. Obama will use his first Oval Office address to outline plans to streamline the BP claims process, a source of aggravation for many people affected by the spill. The administration wants BP to establish an independently managed fund to cover economic and ecological damage claims.

White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs told CBS News’ “The Early Show” this morning Mr. Obama will discuss a strategy to “take the claims process away from BP” if the oil company does not establish “an independent entity.” Gibbs said the president “possesses the legal authority” to do that.

Legal observers say while that authority may be open to debate, the White House clearly has the political power to force BP’s hand. It was unclear whether the administration would allow BP to choose a third party administrator to oversee the fund but a private legal source told CBS News the company has already interviewed some potential choices for the position.

So, the question is…
Will Obama force BP to pay the salaries of the unemployed oil workers who are out of work due to the president’s reckless decision?

If he does, BP should refuse. It’s not their fault the oil workers are sitting at home and that oil rigs are being transferred to Brazil.
It’s Obama’s.

Related… Governor Bobby Jindal called for an end to Obama’s moratorium yesterday.

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