Gulf Drilling Moratorium To Be Lifted

What’s the catch?

The Obama administration is lifting the six-month moratorium on deepwater oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico imposed after the BP oil spill, officials said Tuesday.

The Interior Department scheduled a 1 p.m. news conference in which Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is to “discuss the current suspensions on deepwater drilling,” the Interior Department said.

Said news conference was held, moratorium lifted, but

Congressional officials told The Associated Press that Salazar planned to lift the moratorium, on the condition that companies would first have to meet a host of new safety regulations. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak ahead of the official announcement.

And

Todd Hornbeck, CEO of Covington, La.-based Hornbeck Offshore Services, said lifting the moratorium would leave the industry in a “de facto moratorium stage” until the government fully explains how new drilling permits will be issued.

“We’re still in the dark,” said Hornbeck, who heads up one of the companies that sued to block Interior’s initial moratorium. His company provides vessels and other services for the offshore industry.

“The devil is in the details, as they say, and the industry hasn’t seen the final requirements for what we would have to do to be able to actually get a permit issued,” he added. “Until that is done, lifting the moratorium may be just a moot or perfunctory act. … Right now, I’m skeptical that it will be anytime soon that permits will be issued even if the moratorium is lifted.”

I suspect we can expect the conditions are going to be extreme and virtually impossible to meet. Though, really, so many of the rigs have already left the area for greener pastures. The oil companies were not going to leave them sitting idle.

This looks to be simply a campaign stunt designed to say “hey, we want jobs, we need our own oil,” a stunt that will never actually be allowed to be implemented.

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2 Responses to “Gulf Drilling Moratorium To Be Lifted”

  1. David says:

    What do you mean “what is the catch”? The man destroyed the oil industry here in Louisiana. Then he made it so that everyone in the industry is scared to drill. I have a brother-in-law in the business and he sells pipe. He says that the companies are not buying as they don’t know what this nut is going to do next. Otherwise, they would be very, very active. We should thank Obama for decreasing jobs and undermining the economy at every level and every industry.

  2. captainfish says:

    campaign stunt indeed. They may have lifted the ban, but I can almost bet that there will be no permits. Or, like you said, the permits will be so onerous that no one will be able to get them.

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