Friday, June 18, 2010

Scoundrels AND Liars Too

The Wall Street Journal eviscerates the rhetoric behind the Obama administration's six-month drilling moratorium. This guy is becoming an embarassment.
All of this matters because it offers proof the moratorium was driven by politics, not safety. The drilling ban was not reviewed by experts, and was not necessary to satisfy most of the safety recommendations in Mr. Salazar's report. It was authored by political actors so Mr. Obama could look tough. A cynic might argue the ban was only added after review precisely because the Administration knew experts would refuse to endorse it.
The deepest irony is that the stated goal of safety is not served by the proposed 'solution' (this is usually the case with lefty 'solutions').
A big reason why those experts would have balked is because they recognize that the moratorium is indeed a threat to safety. Mr. Arnold offers at least four reasons why.
The ban requires oil companies to abandon uncompleted wells. The process of discontinuing a well, and then later re-entering it, introduces unnecessary risk. He notes BP was in the process of abandoning its well when the blowout happened.
OK great - first increase basic risks!
The ban is going to push drilling rigs to take jobs in other countries. "The ones that go first will be the newest, biggest, safest rigs, because they are most in demand. The ones that go last and come back first are the ones that aren't as modern," says Mr. Arnold.
Excellent - drive the safest rigs to Brazil.
The indeterminate nature of this ban will encourage experienced crew members to seek other lines of work—perhaps permanently. Restarting after a ban will bring with it a "greater mix of new people who will need to be trained." The BP event is already pointing, in part, to human error, and the risk of that will increase with a less experienced crew base. Finally, a ban will result in more oil being imported on tankers, which are "more likely" to spill oil than local production.
Nice - deskill the workforce - that way maybe the government might end up with more expertise in this area than BP.
All this is even before raising ban's economic consequences, which already threaten tens of thousands of jobs. This is why Louisiana politicians are now pleading with the Administration to back off a ban that is sending the Gulf's biggest industry to its grave.
"Mr. President, you were looking for someone's butt to kick," said Lafourche Parish President Charlotte Randolph, recently. "You're kicking ours." The sooner the Administration climbs down from this pointless exercise, the better for a Gulf that needs real help.
The problem is that the vindictive pathetic little fool behind all this posturing can hardly back down now, so will remain the foolish martinet he is proving himself so consistently to be.
THe oil spill has been a great leadership test and he is failing, but not even with dignity.


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