It’s measured in lost jobs – 23,000 of them, in this case:
Senior Obama administration officials concluded the federal moratorium on deepwater oil drilling would cost roughly 23,000 jobs, but went ahead with the ban because they didn’t trust the industry’s safety equipment and the government’s own inspection process, according to previously undisclosed documents.
Critics of the moratorium, including Gulf Coast political figures and oil-industry leaders, have said it is crippling the region’s economy, and some have called on the administration to make public its economic analysis. A federal judge who in June threw out an earlier six-month moratorium faulted the administration for playing down the economic effects.
After his action, administration officials considered alternatives and weighed the economic costs, the newly released documents show. The Justice Department filed them in a New Orleans court this week, in response to the latest round of litigation over the moratorium.
Spanning more than 27,000 pages, they provide an unusually detailed look at the debate about how to respond to legal and political opposition to the moratorium.
They show the new top regulator or offshore oil exploration, Michael Bromwich, told Interior Secretary Ken Salazar that a six-month deepwater-drilling halt would result in “lost direct employment” affecting approximately 9,450 workers and “lost jobs from indirect and induced effects” affecting about 13,797 more. The July 10 memo cited an analysis by Mr. Bromwich’s agency that assumed direct employment on affected rigs would “resume normally once the rigs resume operations.”
If the administration assumed those jobs would start up again after a moratorium ended… Well, they’re smoking the good stuff. The companies that own the drilling platforms aren’t going to sit around losing money while waiting for Bromwich, Salazar (who should be impeached), and Obama to one day, maybe, reopen drilling in the Gulf. In fact, they’re already leaving, and you can bet more are headed for the door.
In reality, those jobs are either lost or soon will be. A competent administration, one that grounded itself in reality rather than wishful thinking, would have realized that platform owners would follow their economic interests and go where they’re allowed to do business. This isn’t even economics; it’s just common sense, something that seems to be in short supply at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Meanwhile, 23,000 Gulf residents are losing their livelihoods thanks to a stupid, panic-born, and deliberate decision by the Obama Administration.
What do you want to bet they’ll remember this come November?
LINKS: More at Hot Air.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)