BREAKING NEWS: This just in… President Obama gives green light to support oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico! The Obama administration has given it’s approval for the first floating oil storage facility ever to be used in the Gulf. This impressive oil storage facility will be able to hold 80,000 barrels of oil and 16 million cubic feet of gas and will be capable of being moved in the event of a hurricane or severe weather. The U.S. company that has been awarded the permission to use such a facility is none other than… Wait! That can’t be so! …it’s not a U.S. company? No, of course not! The approval for this facility has been given to Petrobras, the nationally owned oil company from Brazil! Say it aint so, Barry, say it aint so!
Back in December, I wrote a piece about how the President played political games with oil drilling moratoriums heading into the elections and that during this period of time it was announced that Cuba would be starting on their drilling program in the Gulf. In that article, it was pointed out that Cuba would be drilling closer to U.S. shores than the Deepwater Horizon was at the time of it’s disaster.
11 months after the Deepwater accident, it is still almost impossible to get an accurate tally on the number of permits that have been requested or what their status is, regardless of whether they are for deepwater drilling or at more traditional depths. The conflicting numbers have come via Ken Salazar’s recent testimony before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and conversations that have taken place between Senator David Vitter and Michael Bromwich, who is the director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement.
“he[Salazar] said the Interior Department had received only 47 shallow water permit applications over the past nine months and that only seven deepwater permit applications were pending. Bromwich told Vitter personally that only six deepwater permits were pending, and he publicly stated that deepwater permits would be limited because “only a handful of completed applications have been received.”
However, that doesn’t line up with what the Department of Justice is stating in their report turned in to the court hearing the drilling moratorium challenge…
“The numbers reported on page 11 of a motion the U.S. Justice Department filed last week tell a different story than what the Obama administration recently reported in congressional testimony and transmitted privately to elected officials. The motion seeks to stay federal judge Martin Feldman’s two recent orders directing BOEMRE to issue at least seven permits.
In its filing, the DOJ warns the court’s order could force a potentially harmful “re-prioritization,” since there are 270 shallow water permit applications pending and 52 deepwater permit applications pending.”
So instead of giving fair competition to American oil companies, President Obama has stymied the industry in lawsuits and borderline illegal moratoriums that have no merit. He has decided to give special benefit to Petrobras in order for them to drill American oil reserves and has made it easier for them to exploit their drilling capabilities all while American companies are sitting ashore. American oil drilling crews are sitting unemployed while we have an unemployment rate that is above 9% if you go by the lower factorial and approaching 16% if you go by the U-6 numbers. Revenues that could be earned by American companies thereby helping our struggling economy are now being given to foreign countries… namely Brazil through their state-owned oil company. Their people are employed. Their country is tapping vital natural resources. Their country is selling oil drilled in American waters for profit. Our economy continues to collapse. Our oil workers can’t find jobs. We are losing future oil yields to foreign countries. Where is the logic?
The fact that Obama is aiding Petrobras should come as no surprise either. August of 2009 it was reported that the Obama administration was going to be giving $2 Billion to Petrobras to assist in their efforts to drill the Tupi oil field off the coast of Brazil. It was also reported that there could be even more money to follow. Why would the U.S. “invest” in foreign oil fields that are being drilled by a state-owned oil company and then turn around and shut down all oil production in the U.S.?
So I ask… What sense does it make to have them drilling in the Gulf but we can’t? If they have a spill, it’s no different than BP spilling. It still hits our shores. Why can’t we just drill for our own oil, Mr. Obama?!? It would help our economy… it would create jobs that we are still losing… it would help the citizens of the U.S. with our domestic costs… and MOST IMPORTANTLY… we could ensure that regulations are being met because it would be U.S. companies drilling for U.S. oil consumption!!!