In the period during which Salazar had imposed a moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, the Interior Secretary continued his brazen talk. “We will only lift the moratorium when I, as Secretary of Interior, am comfortable that we have significantly reduced those risks. So the moratorium dragged on–hurting jobs, drilling, and tourism.
The Obama’s Administration’s six-month moratorium on exploratory drilling in the Gulf “would produce economic loses within the Gulf region and throughout the nation,” according to a study by Louisiana State University economist and professor of finance Joseph Mason in August. The study explored how the moratorium affected the economies of Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, and Mississippi, as well as its effect on the country as a whole.
But wait. The Obama Administration can’t let the nation forget how awful oil companies are and the damage they can do. Obama signed an executive order last month establishing a Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force “to coordinate efforts to implement restoration programs and projects in the Gulf Coast Region. No limits were provided as to expense or length of time the Task Force will be in operation.
The President named Lisa Jackson, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Administrator as chair of the task force—partly for old time’s sake– “ because she’s a New Orleans native.”
And (according to an EPA press release) “due to her considerable involvement in the Obama Administration’s immediate response efforts following the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill and her knowledge and extensive experience in environmental issues—factors that will be central in spurring actions that will be central to help to restore the region’s ecosystem while providing important support for the economy.
Obama’s executive order stated: “To effectively address the damage caused by the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, address the longstanding ecological decline, and begin moving toward a more resilient Gulf Coast ecosystem, ecosystem restoration is needed. Ecosystem restoration will support economic vitality, enhance human health and safety, protect infrastructure, enable communities to better withstand impact from storms and climate change [Let’s never forget climate change], sustain safe seafood and clean water, provide recreational and cultural opportunities, protect and preserve sites that are of cultural and historical significance, and contribute to the overall resilience of our four coastal communities and Nation.”
The task force will include a “senior official” from all the departments and agencies of the federal government as well as the Gulf states and tribal officials. Within one year, “the Task Force shall prepare a strategy that proposes a Gulf Coast ecosystem restoration agenda.” The Task Force will have “such administrative services, funds, facilities, staff, and other support services as may be necessary….”
In other words, another Obama attempt to transform the world as he wants to see it. After all, it’s necessary because it was all the fault of bad old destructive Big Oil.
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