If the legal system, industry and Americans are against deepwater drilling suspensions, who is for them?

I'm not one to talk politics, truly. I vote, and I am very proud to be an American and profoundly grateful to our men and women who have served our country in war and peace, as soldiers and government officials. Difficult decisions are being made every day about the future of our country, and I have always had trust that those decisions were being made with the utmost consideration and using every resource available.

That does not seem to be the case when we consider our energy sector. I am flabbergasted that the DOI and BOEM have instituted another deepwater drilling moratorium, after two courts threw out the first one.

I am concerned that a course of action has been plotted, and no considerations are being made along the way.

I am completely supportive of green energy. Bring on the wind, waves and sun! But I am also aware the our country's infrastructure, utilities and transmission lines are not currently able to support such a change. Additionally, coal and oil both support so much of our current economy, it is unreasonable to force a switch when the country cannot support it.

On that note, on June 30, the DOI declared a deepwater drilling moratorium. After collecting and canvassing some of the leading experts in the field, Interior Secretary Salazar went against their esteemed opinions and shut down deepwater drilling in the waters offshore the US.

This has so many more ramifications than the 33 drilling rigs that were operating in the US Gulf of Mexico. The drilling moratorium severely affects so many coastal communities and economies, families' livelihoods dependent on the petroleum industry in the Gulf.

Additionally, it discourages any future investments in the US oil and gas sector by companies, because the government does not support it. In other words, companies will choose to spend their exploration and development budgets in countries that are more supportive of petroleum developments.

(This can very clearly be seen in the first two deepwater offshore rigs being moved from US waters to Egypt and West Africa.) 

Calling the moratorium a ' second manmade disaster,' Louisiana's Governor Jindal has come out loudly against the drilling shut-down, as well as other government representatives from the Gulf Coast.

Furthermore, two courts threw-out the drilling moratorium.

Yet, Salazar and his staff re-instituted it, this time under the nomenclature of a "drilling suspension" that focuses on the BOPs rather than the water depth. The placement of the BOPs on the ocean floor or on floating facilities is largely determined by water depth, and the staff at the DOI should be completely aware of that.

As the chairman of the NOIA said, "If it looks like a moratorium, acts like a moratorium, and the effect is the same as a moratorium, it is a moratorium."

Even the American public, which is watching the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico unfold with a very heavy heart, is against the deepwater drilling suspensions.

According to a report from Bloomberg, 73 percent of Americans say the ban is unnecessary, calling the oil spill a "freak accident." While 44 percent of the American public thinks BP is to blame for the oil spill, another 19 percent think the cause of the accident should be pinned on lax federal regulations and oversight.

What does this say?

The US government is going against industry experts, the legal system and everyday Americans by declaring another drilling ban.

Furthermore, is this ban somehow a way to point the blame in another direction -- away from the now-defunct MMS, as well as the powers that run it?


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