SIGN ON THE MOVING LINE
White House energy adviser Carol Browner on Friday rejected accusations from a panel of experts who claim the administration misrepresented their views to justify a six-month ban on offshore drilling in response to the BP oil rig disaster.
The denial came after the experts alleged that the Interior Department modified a report in late May that was used as the basis for the sweeping moratorium on existing drilling and new permits.
Though the report claimed the analysts, picked by the National Academy of Engineering, “peer reviewed” the department’s recommendations, the experts say the two paragraphs that called for the moratorium were added only after they signed off on it.
Funny; that’s what they do with the Constitution, too; insert new paragraphs after we’ve already signed off on it.
To the contrary, the experts warn that such a moratorium could not only harm the economy but make the situation in the Gulf more dangerous. The April 20 oil rig explosion occurred while the Deepwater Horizon well was being shut down — a move that is much more dangerous than continuing ongoing drilling, they said.
“A blanket moratorium is not the answer,” they wrote in a letter claiming Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar’s report “misrepresents” their position. “A blanket moratorium will have the indirect effect of harming thousands of workers and further impact state and local economies suffering from the spill.”
Don’t say that to this gang–to them, suffering economies are just a bonus.
“No one’s been deceived or misrepresented,” Browner told Fox News …
Then why put the new paragraphs above their signatures, and not below? It sounds like politicians were hiding behind the experts in order to deflect blame for killing more good-paying jobs on the Gulf Coast.
The experts claimed the draft report that they looked at called for a six-month freeze on permits for new exploratory wells 1,000 feet or deeper and a “temporary pause” on current drilling.
Somehow, that was changed to call for a six-month moratorium on permits for new wells being drilled using floating rigs and an “immediate halt” to drilling operations on 33 permitted wells. …
They also said that because the floating rigs are scarce and in high demand worldwide, they will not simply sit in the Gulf idle for six months. The rigs will go to the North Sea and West Africa, possibly preventing the U.S. from being able to resume drilling for years.
Haltling drilling for years–another “bonus”.
BP was paying a half-million a day to rent that rig. Those rigs aren’t going to sit around and wait like a president.