9/7/10 – Obama imposes drilling moratorium
9 July 2010
Will the six-month deepwater drilling moratorium imposed by President Obama significantly reduce domestic oil production and threaten US energy security. On 9 July 2010, The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) released this week its July Short Term Energy Outlook, which details the agency’s estimates of the coming reductions in oil production due to the six-month ban on deepwater offshore drilling.
In light of EIA’s disturbing findings, Dr. Bernard Weinstein, associate director of the Maguire Energy Institute at Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business, released a statement. "In reaction to the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster, the Obama administration has sought to score political points by imposing a six-month moratorium on deepwater offshore drilling. This moratorium not only penalizes an entire industry for the safety mistakes of a single company, but it also stands to seriously hinder our economic recovery and jeopardize our energy security. EIA’s July Outlook finds that the moratorium will end up reducing our domestic oil production by roughly 30 million barrels over the next 12 months. Moreover, this drilling ban reverses several consecutive years of increases in US. domestic oil production – growth that has created American jobs, tax revenue for local governments, and spending to support small businesses in Gulf Coast communities from Texas to Florida.
"Perhaps even worse, regulators have now made the permitting process for shallow water drilling extremely cumbersome, to the point that there may as well be an outright ban on any drilling in our waters. This is a serious threat to the economic recovery of the Gulf Coast, especially for the tens of thousands of workers employed by the oil and natural gas industry, and thousands of others that depend on the industry for their own jobs. We are already seeing increased imports to fill this production gap – in some cases from countries that are not entirely friendly to the US. Consequently, both our national and economic security may be at risk."
Dr. Bernard Weinstein, associate director of the Maguire Energy Institute and adjunct professor of business economics in the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University, has research and policy experience in fossil fuels, nuclear and renewable energy. He has worked with national governments and private firms engaged in international commerce, and he recently completed an assessment of the costs and benefits of the North American Free Trade Agreement. In recent years, he has participated in economic development projects in China, India, Thailand and Mexico. Weinstein offers up-to-date perspectives on economic conditions and prospects to the local and national media.