Drilling for Hyperbole

For all intents and purposes, at least in the foreseeable future, the BP oil spill did nothing to change the hearts and minds of Americans, or the people that represent them. Comprehensive energy legislation, once a potential hallmark of this Congress, is going nowhere because of a palpable lack of political will, as well as careful capitalization off the anti-everything sentiment.

But remember all the fire & brimstone about the so-called job-killing drill moratorium? I’m no fan of policy moratoriums: I think they’re kind of gimmicky, and often do nothing to add to a sound, comprehensive review process, but the job killing part of the drill, baby, drill narrative didn’t pan out as promised, according to a report in the New York Times:

“[T]he worst of those forecasts has failed to materialize, as companies wait to see how long the moratorium will last before making critical decisions on spending cuts and layoffs. Unemployment claims related to the oil industry along the Gulf Coast have been in the hundreds, not the thousands, and while oil production from the gulf is down because of the drilling halt, supplies from the region are expected to rebound in future years. Only 2 of the 33 deepwater rigs operating in the gulf before the BP rig exploded have left for other fields.”

The article goes on to say that even the “government’s estimate of the impact of the drilling pause — 23,000 lost jobs and $10.2 billion in economic damage — is proving to be too pessimistic.”



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