You’d think that an unemployment rate hovering near 10% would focus the White House’s mind on job creation, not destruction, but the Obama administration stayed true to form yesterday when Interior Secretary Ken Salazar visited the Gulf and told offshore drillers that the permits they need to put Americans back to work are not coming anytime soon. Shallow Water Energy Security Coalition head James Noe told the AP: “If the regulators want to sit around and figure out what rules and regulations to come up with, if they wait much longer they won’t have much industry to regulate.”

While the Obama administration has formally lifted their Gulf drilling ban, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management still is not issuing the permits needed to put Americans back to work. Business Week reports:

RIG-CHEM Inc., which makes chemicals used by companies such as Chevron Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, lost 70 percent of its business when the Obama administration imposed the drilling moratorium, President Lori Davis said today in an interview.

“Our business was practically shut down,” she said.

Davis arranged a loan, reduced retirement plans and scaled back travel for its 17 employees. The employee Christmas party has been scrapped, she said.

“The lifting has not changed much,” said Davis, 52. “Our clients are still fighting, trying to get through the permitting process.”

And the energy sector is not the only area President Obama’s policies are killing jobs. Business Week again:

Bookings at the Ramada Inn and Plantation Inn hotels in Houma are down about 40 percent from last year because fewer workers are staying overnight before flying out to Gulf rigs, Adela Garza, the hotels’ director of sales, said today in an interview.

The front desk and housekeeping departments were forced to scale back as demand waned, she said.

“They let go a couple of people, and cut hours, just trying to stay afloat here,” Garza said. The moratorium has “made things difficult. It’s been lifted, but nothing big has happened yet.”

President Obama’s policies are creating one clear winner: other nations. As the Christian Science Monitor reports, President Obama’s offshore ban is sending American jobs overseas:

“You can’t have a $2 million asset, for example, lay idle for six months and expect that strategic asset to be there in the future,” said Jim Adams, the interim CEO of the Offshore Marine Service Association, after meeting with Salazar. “The irony is that the same assets that are going to make the Gulf safer are the ones that are looking for overseas markets now.”