Obama Institutes Offshore Drilling Moratorium … Again

Nicolas Loris /

After the BP oil spill, the Obama Administration offered little excuse for instituting a moratorium on deepwater drilling regardless of the fact that it brought one of the Gulf Coast’s main industries to a sudden halt. Despite federal judge Martin Feldman’s ruling on the moratorium and despite a federal appeals court upholding that decision, the U.S. Department of Interior issued a new moratorium on deepwater drilling this afternoon.

The new ban will not apply to a specific depth but instead “apply to any deep-water floating facility with drilling activities.” But changing the rules of the ban does not change the fact that the moratorium would do nothing to address the oil spill. Instead, it would unnecessarily destroy jobs in a region struggling to manage an environmental and economic crisis—largely in part because of the federal government.

In the face of a disaster that has already torn through the economic fabric of many coastal industries, denying jobs to the area is unjust. If the newly issued moratorium circumvents judicial ruling, more than 120,000 jobs could be lost in the Gulf Coast, and the ripples from these lost jobs would be seen throughout all sectors of the economy. (more…)