Drilling Ban Lifted: No Permits White House Needs Details: Drilling Crisis Not to be Wasted

The Obama administration, in contempt of court for ignoring a federal judge’s ban of a deepwater drilling moratorium in the Gulf, lifted the moratorium in October but have issued no new permits. The White House needs more details, in essence telling the American people, there is more than one way to skin an oil spill (or never let a crisis be a wasted Leftist opportunity). The ever impotent Congress chimes in with the heavy handed news that the administration is “slow-walking the process.” [Please note sarcasm]

New requirements call for the proof of “specific containment equipment and associated assets.”

He [Michael Bromwich] added that “once operators are able to submit information describing the equipment and systems that they would use in the event of a loss of well control for each operation for which a drilling permit is sought,” staff at BOEMRE will review that information when making a decision on a proposed deep-water drilling permit.

From Politico, Randall Luthi, former Minerals Management

…the permitting and leasing process remains agonizingly slow in the Gulf of Mexico. A new deep water drilling permit may finally be issued by the end of June. But there may not be a lease sale in all of 2011.

Even if the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement meets the June deadline, the question remains: Why wait another five months? Since the Interior Department lifted the deepwater drilling moratorium in October, the industry has submitted numerous applications that meet new, more stringent requirements. Yet — nothing…

The administration needs to recognize that, while the BP spill was an unacceptable, avoidable event — and a horrible tragedy — it does not represent a systemic problem. We’ve drilled more than 43,000 wells in the Gulf, including more than 14,000 in deep water. The lessons we’ve learned and applied from Macondo can only make drilling safer.

The lack of permits and vision to expand offshore exploration continues to have consequences in the Gulf and across the country. People are out of work. Some deep-water rigs have left the Gulf for oil fields elsewhere. Taxes and royalty payments to state and federal coffers are way down. Oil prices are on the way up.

Jobs are gone, and while the BP spill is considered the worst environmental disaster in our history, the oil cleaned itself up, fish are clean – but the disaster continues as much of the industry in the area, including drilling is dead. From The Lonely Conservative: our rigs are going to Egypt! and elsewhere around the world – dozens of them.

Related: Ken Salazar, Barack Obama in Contempt of Court on Drilling Ban

Linked by Conservative Hideout 2.0 with a great round-up of interesting reads.