The White House would like nothing better than for Americans to forget their incompetent handling of the Gulf oil spill. And if a complicit national media had anything to do with it, they would get their wish. Not once since the spill occurred, have any serious questions been leveled at the White House about their bungled response to it.
Not once did a national reporter ask the president why he blocked permits to protect a fragile coastline. Not once did the president address why he needlessly delayed skimmers and clean-up efforts. To this day Obama has never addressed that scientists have found vast amounts of oil still floating beneath the water’s surface. The president has not addressed the inaction on his part that led to the crisis getting worse, or the BP “settlement” that may include taxpayer dollars.
But above all, the president is not being appropriately pressed to end his reckless and economy-crushing drilling moratorium. One Democratic Senator is not as accepting of the White House’s malfeasance. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) has placed a hold on President Obama’s OMB nominee, Jack Lew, until the White House lifts the moratorium. Landrieu told POLITICO:
The president’s policies right now are doing much more harm than the [BP] spill itself to the economy of the South coast. … It’s just gotten to a point where people in Louisiana ask, ‘Do they even understand what is going on down here?’ They have the entire offshore industry virtually shut down.
This is a damning statement from a senior member of the president’s own party. The White House of course reacted in the same way it reacts to all legitimate criticism: Shhhh!
Talking Points Memo (TPM) reports that senior administration officials including Interior Secretary Ken Salazar have appealed to the senator to drop the hold and fall in line, and “[a] White House official left open the possibility of Obama or Vice President Biden making another appeal to Landrieu.”
Senator Landrieu is right. The moratorium has been an economic catastrophe for those along the Gulf coast already suffering from high unemployment. As we have reported, rigs have already left the Gulf as a result of Obama’s moratorium and will not be coming back soon. Jobs are not only leaving the region, but are leaving the country. Meanwhile, our oil demand is unaffected by the moratorium causing us to rely more heavily on imports.
Senator Landrieu isn’t the only liberal begging the president to come to his senses. In July, nearly three months ago, Obama’s handpicked commissioner to study the oil spill effects, former Democratic Senator Bob Graham (FL), bluntly declared that there’s a “disconnect between Washington and the Gulf region about the sense of urgency needed.”
The job-killing Obama moratorium was first rejected by U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman in June. In July, a federal appeals court also ruled against it, saying it was “arbitrary and capricious.” Yet, the Obama administration slogged on outside the law, creating an operational environment where despite court rulings, a ‘de facto’ moratorium exists.
According to TPM, Senator Landrieu told Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) she wouldn’t move on the OMB hold: “until I am convinced that the president and his administration understand the detrimental impacts that the actual and de facto moratoria continue to have on the Gulf Coast.”
The victims of President Obama’s indifference are not sitting silently. Restaurant owners like Charlie Goodson in Lafayette have seen their profits drop nearly 57 percent, and expects to end the year at a loss as the moratorium continues. Goodson has pleaded with the Obama administration to stop “recklessly” punishing the local Louisiana economy. Others are waiting as long as they can before they lay off workers, but that time is drawing near.
And yet, President Obama does not even have the decency to face the people he causing to suffer. His attention was never focused on the disaster to begin with. And since he imposed the moratorium, you don’t hear a word from the administration about their end-game or if they notice the damage they are causing. In fact, as Senator David Vitter (R-LA) has asked the administration to participate in several field hearings on the subject and have been met with absent indifference.
Vitter said in August: “It’s sad, but it’s revealing of how the administration has approached this moratorium all along. They want to decide what they think is best for us, but it’s clear from their response to this committee that they don’t care how many jobs they kill in Louisiana.”
And what is America getting in return for Obama’s reckless, arbitrary and capricious drilling moratorium? We’re getting an appeased environmental left and no reduction of risk. And as the Obama administration moves with little urgency to resume domestic energy production, Cuba is finalizing plans to begin drilling 50 miles off the Florida coast next year.
The Hill reports Senate Majority Whip Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) said he is “more optimistic that Senator Landrieu will be able to move our way,” adding, “We’re working on it.” If moving Durbin and Obama’s way means continuing the onslaught on hardworking Americans, increasing our dependency on foreign oil and recklessly weakening our economy without cause or benefit…we hope she does not.