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June 21, 2010

Obama's Experts Cry Foul; They Didn't Support a Drilling Moratorium

Echoing the ObamaCare debate, wherein Obama misquoted and misstated the views of "experts" to sell his healthcare system overhaul, the folks Obama said suggested an economy-crippling moratorium on offshore drilling said no such thing:

The justification offered was an Interior Department report supposedly "peer reviewed" by "experts identified by the National Academy of Engineering." But it turned out the drafts the experts saw didn't include any recommendation for a moratorium. Eight of the cited experts have said they oppose the moratorium as more economically devastating than the oil spill and "counterproductive" to safety.

This was blatant dishonesty by the administration, on an Orwellian scale. In defense of a policy that has all the earmarks of mindless panic, that penalizes firms and individuals guilty of no wrongdoing and that will worsen rather than improve our energy situation. Ineffective thuggery.

The Gulf states have been pleading with Obama for a week to lift the moratorium. Meanwhile, between golf games the President has been pushing BP to pay compensation to the people who have lost jobs because of the President's moratorium. BP, so far, has held firm in rejecting Obama's bullying.

BP successfully argued it shouldn't be liable for most of the broader economic distress caused by the president's six-month moratorium on deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. And it fended off demands to pay for restoration of the Gulf coast beyond its prespill conditions.

After the high-profile meeting of administration and BP officials on Wednesday, it was in the interest of neither to discuss such details. BP wanted to look contrite and to make a grand gesture, and the White House wanted to look tough.

Obama doesn't look tough, he looks like a bully. BP should be held to account for its own mistakes, but not the ill-advised, politically motivated anti-prosperity policies of the President.

It's time to start wondering out loud: does Obama actually know about any of this, or is he just a figurehead for the DNC? When he breezed through the BP meeting, was it because he was busy with other things or because he doesn't really know what's going on? Did he give the hypothetical about "figuring out how booms get someplace" because he has been sidelined with a map and a crayon?


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 01:20 PM

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