Last week we reported on numbers showing that despite supposedly lifting his offshore oil drilling moratorium, the Obama administration is maintaining a de facto drilling ban by slowing and sometimes stopping permit issuance all together. GNO Inc., an economic development agency serving the 10-parish New Orleans region, found that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement is issuing 3.8 fewer shallow-water drilling permits per month since August than it was the year leading up to the oil spill. Worse, no new deepwater permits have been issued since May.
As Thomas Clements, co-owner of a Louisiana offshore drilling support business, explains in today’s Human Events this de facto drilling moratorium is killing jobs in the Gulf:
When the President issued his blanket moratorium for six months, every order at Oilfield CNC Machining LLC, the business I run with my wife in Broussard, was canceled. The lucrative energy sector, which generates the demand on which we rely, suddenly went dry. Though the offshore moratorium has officially been lifted, I continue to suffer from a 50% decrease in business as a result of the permitting freeze. To a specialized company like mine, which provides machine parts for offshore drilling rigs, this response has been nearly a deathblow.
Clements story is not unique. Ken Tanguis of Houma, Louisiana, had been a mechanic for Diamond Offshore Drilling for most of his life. But since President Obama instituted his drilling ban, Diamond has laid off more than 300 workers, and now Tanguis only works three weeks on and three weeks off. Tanguis told NPR: “I don’t want a handout from the government. I don’t want a handout from BP. I don’t want anything. I just want to go back to work. I want to go back to drilling.” The only thing standing between Tanguis and a job is President Obama’s de facto drilling ban. We hope the President allows Ken to go back to work soon.