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Story Archives: Throwing the baby out with the Gulf water
|Throwing the baby out with the Gulf water|
There is an old saying about not throwing the baby out with the bath water. That's even more true if the baby is holding a big chuck of your state's economy.
The Franklin Parish Police Jury did the right thing in Monday night's meeting by passing a resolution submitted by the Louisiana Police Jury Association urging President Obama to reduce the six month moratorium he placed on deep-water drilling to no more than a month.
What has happened in the Gulf of Mexico since the BP oil spill is a disaster, but leave it to the federal government to turn it into a bigger disaster by crippling Louisiana's economy with this moratorium.
Stopping deep-water operations in the Gulf of Mexico is nothing more than a feel-good, knee jerk reaction to the spill to placate the environmentalist lobby, who would like nothing more than to pull the plug on all drilling and let the consequences be damned.
Let's consider how allowing empty headed tree huggers shape public policy has worked out so far.
Although they will never be made to answer for their contribution to the catastrophe, environmentalist meddling is one of the reasons we are now faced with the worst environmental disaster in American history.
Had oil companies been allowed to drill in places like Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) or the shallow waters of Florida's coast they would not have had to push deeper and deeper into the Gulf.
If a well explodes in the Alaskan wilderness it's a lot easier to cap than one a mile under water.
I'm old enough to remember when environmentalists were called conservationists and had common sense.
I could write a column detailing the damage the green movement has caused, but I don't want to stray too far from what this column is really about —the damage the moratorium will cause.
An estimated 33 percent of this country's domestic oil production comes from the waters of the Gulf.
Eighty percent of the oil and 45 percent of the natural gas produced comes from the 33 deep-water drilling rigs that are now sitting idle in the Gulf.
Each drilling rig averages 180 to 280 employees for each two-week shift and each one of those jobs supports an estimated four other jobs in Louisiana.
If you are a citizen of Louisiana, the chances are that you know someone who either works for the oil industry or whose job is supported by it, if you don't fall into one of those two categories yourself.
It is estimated that the suspension of deep-water drilling will result in a loss of up to 6,000 Louisiana jobs in two to three weeks and more than 20,000 jobs over the next 18 months.
What's more is that many of those jobs might not return once the moratorium is lifted.
Drilling for oil and natural gas won't end just because it's not allowed in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Saudi Arabian sheiks are dancing in the desert as they count the wives they will be able to add to their harems from the money they will be able to rake in by supplying us with the oil we will no longer be able to produce domestically.
Don't be surprised if some of that money winds up in the pockets of Islamists who don't exactly have our best interest at heart.
In considering all this it's hard to imagine how anyone in Louisiana could be in favor or the moratorium, but there are some close to home whom support it.
I was disappointed that Winnsboro's Mayor-elect Jackie Johnson used one of his last votes as a police juror against the resolution opposing the moratorium. His was the jury's lone vote against the measure.
Johnson's reasoning was that the time bought by the stoppage will help assure that all safety measures are put in place to make sure this never happens again.
If he had read the resolution more carefully, he would have seen that it calls for tasking the "Minerals Management Service (MMS) with conducting thorough inspections of all deep-water drilling facilities in the Gulf as well as implementing strict safety measures and take enforcement actions to ensure compliance with safety mandates, thus greatly reducing the job loss and negative economic impact felt by our region while ensuring a safer industry."
Johnson's reasoning is almost as flawed as White House press secretary Robert Gibbs' who responded to concerns that the moratorium would cause thousands of jobs to be lost in a tough economy by stating that the spill has already caused job loss in the fishing and tourism industries.
Are we to believe that it make things better for the people out of work because of the oil spill to put more people out of work?
Gibbs' statements are a window into the egalitarianism that resides in the core of the Obama administration that is likely to ultimately do more damage to our economy than a oil spill that is already eight times as big as the 1989 Exxon Valdez tanker disaster.