Don’t Start Celebrating the End of the Drilling Moratorium Just Yet


President Obama lifted the moratorium on off shore oil drilling in a cynical attempt to make it appear Democrats are serious about the economy. Don’t think the lifting of the moratorium is great news for the residents of the Gulf states, or the rest of us, for that matter. Even Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) isn’t jumping for joy over the news.

The Hill: Landrieu in September had placed a “hold” on the nomination of Jacob Lew to direct the White House Office of Management and Budget until the deepwater ban is lifted and Interior speeds up permitting for shallow water projects.

She and other Gulf Coast lawmakers say the restrictions are harming the region’s oil-tethered economy.

“I am not going to release my hold on Jack Lew. Instead, I will take this time to look closely at how [Interior] is handling the issuing of permits and whether or not drilling activity in both shallow and deep water is resuming. When Congress reconvenes for the lame duck session next month, I will have had several weeks to evaluate if today’s lifting of the moratorium is actually putting people back to work,” Landrieu said in a prepared statement Tuesday after the Interior Department announced the lifting of the deepwater ban ahead of schedule.

She called the decision “a good start,” but added, “it must be accompanied by an action plan to get the entire industry in the Gulf of Mexico back to work.”

“This means that the administration must continue to accelerate the granting of permits in shallow and deep water, and provide greater certainty about the rules and regulations industry must meet,” she said.

I wouldn’t hold my breath.


Many other nations are making moves to save their own oil industries, while we in the US continue sending oil jobs overseas. In addition, the government’s attack on domestic oil and gas companies are driving foreign companies to buy up big shares of US companies. That’s because Obama’s proposed budget would punish American companies while making foreign companies more competitive in the US.

New taxes on the American oil and gas industries are estimated to cost at least 150,000 jobs. Is that what we need during these tough economic times? And that’s not counting the millions (yes, millions!) of jobs that will be lost if the EPA implements its new ozone rule.

These are just the things they are doing out in the open. Did you know that federal regulatory agencies issued over 3,500 rules and regulations in 2009? It’s tyranny, and it’s being done to us by unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats!

Washington Times: Regulations considered in recent years have included energy-efficiency standards for clothes washers and pool heaters, SUV emission rules and the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s designs to regulate escalators (safer than unregulated stair steps, by the way) as a “consumer product.”

The year’s Federal Register – the daily depository of federal regulations – already tops 61,000 pages. According to research conducted for the Small Business Administration by economists Nicole V. and W. Mark Crain, annual off-budget regulatory costs exceed $1.7 trillion, an amount equivalent to more than half the level of the federal budget itself and on a par with the stratospheric annual deficit.

So much for the constitutional injunction, “All legislative Powers … shall be vested in a Congress of the United States.”

The unelected rule America; welcome to “regulation without representation.”

Congress – while itself no model of restraint – is the only entity accountable to us that can cut off agencies’ water.

In response to this fire hose of regulation, Rep. Geoff Davis, Kentucky Republican, and Sen. Jim DeMint, South Carolina Republican, unveiled the REINS Act (Regulations From the Executive In Need of Scrutiny) to require congressional approval of major agency rules and regulations before they are binding. Major rules are the ones costing $100 million annually.

The best way to get the REINS Act passed is to vote the Democrats out on November 2.