Managing a Crisis to Catastrophe
By Jerry A. Kane
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar altered a signed report submitted by seven experts who had been advisors to Brother O on offshore drilling safety following the Deepwater Horizon explosion. The Chicago-way practitioner added two paragraphs to the final report calling for an immediate halt to drilling operations and a six-month moratorium on permits for new wells being drilled using floating rigs.
“The experts … involved in crafting the report gave … their recommendation … It was not their decision on the moratorium. It was my decision and the president’s decision to move forward” [with the moratorium].—Ken Salazar
But Salazar submitted the report without notifying the experts that he had added the moratorium recommendation. He then reported to Brother O that the panel of experts had “peer reviewed” his recommendations for the moratorium.
“None of us actually reviewed the memorandum as it is in the report. What was in the report at the time it was reviewed was quite a bit different in its impact to what there is now. So we wanted to distance ourselves from that recommendation.”—Ken Arnold, one of the seven oil experts
The experts, who had been recommended by the National Academy of Engineering, wrote a letter to Salazar complaining that he had misrepresented their opinions and that the moratorium on drilling was a bad idea for the following reasons:
Shutting down a rig is much more dangerous than continued drilling; the Deep Well Horizon exploded while being shut down.
Floating rigs are scarce and in high demand worldwide; they won’t simply sit idle in the Gulf for six months; they will move to the North Sea and West Africa and won’t be back to resume drilling for years.
The best and most advanced rigs will leave first, leaving the older and potentially less safe ones operating off the U.S. coast.
To compound the environmental consequences of the spill, Brother O and Salazar released an altered report to justify an economic shut down to huge parts of the Gulf region. Brother O’s moratorium on deepwater drilling affects 33 platforms, each one employs between 180 and 280 jobs, and each one of those jobs directly supports at least four other industry related jobs.
The moratorium is hurting the people in the Gulf states. More than 120,000 jobs could be lost in the region if the drilling ban continues. The ban will keep the country dependent on foreign oil, cause energy prices to skyrocket, and add an economic disaster to an environmental crisis.
What is more, in the middle of the unfolding catastrophe, Brother O remains aloof from the clamor of the devastation in the Gulf. Spellbound by a grandiose sense of self-importance, America’s false messiah stands naked before the world, a dithering master of empty platitudes gushing hot air to the dirty, itching ears of the fools who elected him.
For more information on the altered report and the effects of the moratorium in the Gulf region, see Injunction notes that Obama admin manipulated experts’ opinions in moratorium decision by Joel S. Gehrke Jr., Jindal vs. Obama: Time to End the Drilling Moratorium by Mike Brownfield, and Experts Say White House ‘Misrepresented’ Views to Justify Drilling Moratorium by Fox News.