Archive for Off-Shore Drilling

Oh No! History’s Most Transparent Administration Evah Grows Murkier!

It’s probably like the water out of your tap when the fire department is flushing the hydrants. Run it through the news cycle for a couple of days and it’ll look clear enough:

A senior federal investigator accused the White House of having stonewalled a probe into whether an administration report on the April 2010 BP oil spill was doctored by the White House to show President Obama’s deepwater drilling moratorium was backed by outside experts, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

The revelation of the charges comes at an unwelcome time for Obama as he tries to tout job gains and claim success at expanding drilling. The deepwater ban established soon after the spill, along with a decline in permitting for shallow water drilling, cost thousands of jobs.

The White House and the Department of Interior said the claim in the May 2010 report that experts backed the ban was an editing mistake, but the investigator, according to emails he sent in 2010 and 2011, believed otherwise. From the Times-Picayune story:

In one email obtained by The Times-Picayune, Richard Larrabee, senior special agent assigned to investigate the matter for the Department of Interior’s inspector general, wrote: “I truly believe the editing ‘WAS’ intentional — by an overzealous staffer at the White House. And, if asked, I, as the case agent, would be happy to state that opinion to anyone interested.” Larrabee declined Monday to comment on the emails.

Larrabee, a special agent assigned to investigate the misinformation in the report for the Department of Interior’s inspector general, also charged that the Secretary of Interior’s office denied investigators full access to “records, reports, audits, review documents, papers, and recommendations of other material.”

Not to worry, B-HO: look who’s got you back.

The top Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee doesn’t think much of the panel’s investigation into a two-year-old Obama administration report on the 2010 BP oil spill. Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., said the probe is a waste of time and money.

Why, that would make it a perfect Democrat program, wouldn’t it?

Markey, who chaired the Natural Resources Committee before Republicans recaptured the House majority in the 2010 elections, said the GOP majority ought to be concentrating on more important issues than a copy editing mistake.

“Rather than wasting the government’s time and money investigating the editing of the executive summary of a two-year-old report, the administration and the Congress should be focused on the Deepwater Horizon disaster itself and making sure nothing like it ever hits Gulf Coast communities again,” Markey said. “It is quite clear based on the voluminous documents examined by the committee’s Democrat staff that this is much ado about nothing.”

“The Secretary of Interior has already acknowledged that the editing of this report was flawed and apologized to the peer reviewers for that error. I don’t see the point of wasting additional time and taxpayer dollars on a Congressional investigation of copy editing mistakes. This is a diversion and a sideshow.”

Committee Chairman Doc Hastings, R-Wash., who spearheaded the committee’s decision to subpoena documents from the Obama administration, said the issue is far from trivial.

“President Obama pledged unprecedented transparency and it’s regrettable that a Congressional subpoena is necessary to obtain documents pertaining to the administration’s report that recommended a six-month drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico,” Hastings said. “The report falsely stated the professional views of independent engineers and the moratorium directly caused thousands of lost jobs, economic pain throughout the Gulf region, and a decline in American energy production. It’s important to clearly understand exactly how this happened.”

It’s an honest mistake, I’m sure. It’s like on my American History final in college when I said the British won the Revolutionary War. I told the professor it was an “editing mistake”, but as she was 1/32 Choctaw, I think she had it in for me and failed me anyway.

PS: Everyone knows our Major Leaguers up here in Massachusetts: Kennedy, Kerry, Frank, Warren, et al. But we have an impressive list of minor league goofballs and moonbats, too, Markey not least among them.

PPS: Has anyone thought about creating a Fantasy Congress league? Draft your favorite deranged Democrats, and earn points for their moronic statements and positions? Nancy Pelosi has first-round talent, for example, but Markey would be a solid middle-round choice.

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Quit Whining, America

Be like Europe.

Would the media have run a story like this in the Bush years???

Gas prices might have breached the $4 per gallon mark in the U.S., but there won’t be much sympathy for the American plight in Europe. In fact, that U.S. price of £2.52 a gallon looks highly affordable compared to the UK’s current average cost of £6.22 ($9.85).

In some places here you’ll pay an eye-watering £7.27 ($11.52) for a gallon of super unleaded. And prices throughout the rest of Europe are similarly high. But it is worth sparing a thought for the hard-pressed Norwegians who’ll pay £7.28 ($11.54) for a gallon of the regular stuff across their country.

We aspire to be like Europe, and we are achieving our goal!!

- Aggie

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Obama Says: Drill, Baby, Drill!

This is President Barack Obama. I’d really like to get reelected. Therefore, today, I am taking the unprecedented step of encouraging drilling in the US, on land and off our coasts. Don’t tell my base, please. I have enough headaches with them as it is.

In an effort to defuse Republican and oil industry pressure over drilling permits and soothe public anger over gasoline prices, President Obama will order the Interior Department to conduct annual lease sales in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve and speed up seismic work that is a precursor to drilling off the south and mid-Atlantic coasts.

In his Saturday radio address, Obama will also extend oil company leases in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska where work was delayed by the drilling moratorium the president imposed during the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill resulting from a blowout on a BP well.

He will also order the Interior Department to hold a Gulf of Mexico lease sale this year and two in 2012, thus completing the department’s five-year plan for the area.

The moves are part of an effort to fulfill the president’s pledge to increase domestic oil production and reduce oil imports, even as he acknowledges that it won’t alter gasoline prices in the short-run. They also resemble positions the president took just a month before the BP spill in the gulf.

A senior administration official said the administration believed it could move ahead in Alaska in “attractive areas” for drilling while remaining “consistent with environmental values.”

He’s a good basketball player, right? He can shift and turn and throw so quickly that his opponents are completely off-balance. He is a cartoon.

Like the killing of OBL, this is the right move. This is the move to the center that he needs in order to oppress us for four more years.

- Aggie

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Peter Hussein Pan

The president who won’t grow up:

During an interview with ABC News in his Ohio district today, Boehner said he personally trusts the president, but accused him of not being honest with Americans about taxes, Medicare and deficit reduction.

The topic was the bipartisan deficit commission, which was appointed by the president and issued a controversial report late last year recommending tough spending cuts, tax reforms and reforming Medicare and Social Security.

“While I didn’t agree with everything they did, there was a lot in their proposal that was worth of consideration. And what did the president do? He took exactly none of his own deficit reduction commission’s ideas. Not one. Come on! It’s time to grow up and get serious about the problems that face our country,” Boehner said.

Keep those tissues handy, John, because I don’t think he’s planning to grow up any time soon.

Based on available evidence:

Shell Oil Company has announced it must scrap efforts to drill for oil this summer in the Arctic Ocean off the northern coast of Alaska. The decision comes following a ruling by the EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board to withhold critical air permits. The move has angered some in Congress and triggered a flurry of legislation aimed at stripping the EPA of its oil drilling oversight.

Shell has spent five years and nearly $4 billion dollars on plans to explore for oil in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. The leases alone cost $2.2 billion. Shell Vice President Pete Slaiby says obtaining similar air permits for a drilling operation in the Gulf of Mexico would take about 45 days.

He’s especially frustrated over the appeal board’s suggestion that the Arctic drill would somehow be hazardous for the people who live in the area. “We think the issues were really not major,” Slaiby said, “and clearly not impactful for the communities we work in.”

The closest village to where Shell proposed to drill is Kaktovik, Alaska. It is one of the most remote places in the United States. According to the latest census, the population is 245 and nearly all of the residents are Alaska natives. The village, which is 1 square mile, sits right along the shores of the Beaufort Sea, 70 miles away from the proposed off-shore drill site.

The EPA’s appeals board ruled that Shell had not taken into consideration emissions from an ice-breaking vessel when calculating overall greenhouse gas emissions from the project.

The project was scuttled because of the “emissions” of one scow? One?

Don’t talk to me about oil profits. Shell is out $4 billion without one drop of oil to show for it. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Venezuela, Mexico, and a whole lot of other nice places who love us unreservedly are counting their money with front-loaders.

What happened to freeing us from a reliance on foreign oil, Abu oumama? Or is that a promise only for odd days, like parking in Manhattan?

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Boston Adopt-A-Terrorist Meet-Up

We’re starting a prayer group in a Congregational Church in Cambridge.

Shall we adopt Osama bin Laden, or is he already taken?

(With apologies to any of our devout friends who believe that this could work).

Could you pray for people who planned bombings, carried out shootings and terrorized civilians? A movement in the U.S. is asking Christians to do just that.

At, Christians are asked to “adopt a terrorist for prayer.” A quote from the Bible on the site urges visitors to “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

“Where is the Christian response to terrorism?” the site says. “If the struggle against violence done in the name of Islam is primarily spiritual, then defeating it requires a spiritual response.”

Adopt a Terrorist For Prayer (ATFP) spokesman Thomas Bruce tells CNN the site’s main goals are to teach people how to pray for their enemies and to spiritually reform the terrorists.

The site was launched in 2008, with the interactive adoption feature being added in 2009. Bruce says 603 people have registered to prayerfully adopt a terrorist.

They have pre-selected terrorists to help us get started:

The ATFP site lists 165 people available for “adoption,” most of whom are designated by the FBI and State Department as terrorists or sponsors of terrorism. Just sign up, scroll through the list and choose which individual you’d like to pledge to transform through prayer. CNN could not verify the authenticity of all the names listed on the ATFP site.

Wha’d'ya say guys? Are we in?

- Aggie

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Obama’s Ears Boxed By Bench

Not the judge, or the case, you were thinking of. But no less sweet.

Given them twin spinnakers on either side of his head, that bout will go the distance:

The ruling by Judge Martin Feldman of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana means the Interior Department could have to reimburse Hornbeck Offshore Services LLC, a Louisiana drilling company, for the costs of litigation that the firm brought last year challenging the legality of the drilling moratorium.

The drilling halt was first ordered last May after the April 20 Deepwater Horizon rig explosion, in which 11 workers died, and the resulting oil spill. Judge Feldman struck down the initial ban in June, and the Interior Department quickly ordered a second one.

In his ruling, Judge Feldman said Hornbeck was owed the money because the government’s conduct amounted to contempt of court.

A spokeswoman for Interior Secretary Ken Salazar declined to comment late Wednesday. In a written statement, Hornbeck’s general counsel, Sam Giberga, said “What is striking about today’s ruling is that it holds the government, acting through its highest levels, in contempt of a federal court order.”

What’s a pissant judge (or two or three) to the mighty Barack? This guy’s rap sheet is getting longer than Mumia Abu Jamal’s. But as Leona Helmsley might say, “judgments are for little people”.

And who collects the vig? “Pay me my [bleeping] money or Barney Frank sleeps with the Fishes—Stanley, Nicky, Ginger, Hamilton.”

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Grownups Wanted

I wish we had Barack Obama’s “own white grandmother” in the Oval Office, instead of him. Not because she was a “typical white person”.

But because she was an adult:

The Obama administration’s decision to maintain a ban on oil drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts is a mistake, according to a University of Illinois expert who wrote a six-volume book series on marine pollution.

“It’s a ridiculous decision on the part of the Interior Department,” said John W. Kindt, a professor of business and legal policy at Illinois. “The previous 180-day moratorium really hurt a lot of businesses. Well, a seven-year ban is going to sting even more.”

Kindt says giving the oil companies a public spanking through a seven-year ban isn’t going to solve our energy problems, and that unreasonably prohibiting offshore drilling will not only exacerbate the region’s economic woes, it also will strengthen U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

“Our motto should be ‘Drill, Baby, Drill’ but ‘Safely, Baby, Safely,’ ” he said. “We have two wars in the Middle East, and while we do need alternate sources of energy, in the interim we still need to safely develop our off-shore resources. That means we need to open up both the East Coast and California for drilling, although California is not going to like that. But we’ve got to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time.”

Well, the walking part is fine, but I don’t think Michelle O. is going to like the gum-chewing. Let’s just say that we’ve got to be able to walk and chew celery at the same time.

PS: Recalling some of Obama’s more imbecilic statements, I still marvel that he got elected at all.

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The Further-er Adventures of Barack Obama, Roughneck

When last we encountered our ass-kicking assayer, he was forswearing all oil drilling, now and forever, from sea to shining sea—and beyond.

Yeah, there’s only one problem with that: we need the oil.

Bobby Jindal is becoming increasingly peeved at the Obama administration’s response to the oil spill — particularly the drilling moratorium that is stepping on the oxygen hose of an economy that is already on life support.

Jindal says there’s “not a real understanding the way this [oil] industry works” in the Obama administration.

And he’s not the only one with that opinion:

The May 27 report to President Barack Obama said the experts “peer reviewed” its recommendations, including the six-month moratorium and 22 safety measures.

But eight of the 15 members of the review panel are charging that the administration misrepresented their position by suggesting they supported a blanket moratorium that they actually oppose. Their criticism, and the administration’s response, are evidence that the six-month stoppage is based on politics rather than on science.

That’s not how a decision that could wreck South Louisiana’s economy should have been made — and the president should reconsider it.

“A blanket moratorium is not the answer. It will not measurably reduce risks further and it will have a lasting impact on the nation’s economy which may be greater than that of the spill,” the experts wrote.

But you see, that’s an adult answer. That’s a measured, rational approach. President Omoeba just wants to pose and preen.

So, no more oil for you. He’s like the “soup Nazi” on Seinfeld—the oil Nazi. And he’s threatening BP with paying for his absurd decision. What’s he going to do next, hold his breath?

He’s a socialist. That’s not a charge, it’s a fact.

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Barack’s Tantr-o-meter II

What next, taking names?

“… I don’t sit around just talking to experts because this is a college seminar, we talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers, so I know whose ass to kick.”

Don’t you have a mirror? Oh, silly me—forgot whom I was talking to. If an earthquake hit DC, he’d have 168 years bad luck.

Does this strike anyone as presidential? Sounds more cowboy, if I may say so.

Heck I’d accept gubernatorial:

It’s a rough schedule for Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal — a near daily grind of military helicopter flights or roaring airboat tours to remote steamy marshes and sun-baked barrier islands increasingly endangered by the BP oil spill.

Sweeping sticks or fish nets through chocolate-colored goo to show its cake-batter thickness, Jindal laments a lumbering federal and corporate response to the mess. He repeatedly assures reporters: “We’ve taken matters into our own hands.”

Since the drilling rig operated by BP PLC exploded in April and unleashed a gusher of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, Jindal has taken pains to rattle off all the state is doing to keep the oil from ruining a way of life. He ticks off lists of projects, how much oil-soaking boom is being used, where barges are being sent.

He lambasts a Democratic administration’s response that he says hasn’t done enough to protect the state’s shores.

A big factor in how Jindal weathers the current crisis may hinge on his proposal, recently approved by federal authorities after weeks of pleas from the state, to build miles of sand berms to beef up an eroded system of barrier islands.

Supporters say it will help keep oily Gulf water from reaching more of the state’s delicate wetlands. Critics of the plan have questioned if the barriers can be built in time, and if they would survive a hurricane or tropical storm.

Well, they might have been built in time if the Feds had acted on the first request.

I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: President Omoeba has declared ownership of this mess. It was foolish of him to do—he knows even less about deep water drilling than he does about the rest of being president of the United States—but he did it. So, limber up, Mr. President and kick your own ass. Considering Governor Jindal’s action, and your inaction, you deserve it.

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The Abyss

My new name of the Omoeba administration.

Figures they’d turn to the director of True Lies to “plug the damn hole”:

It’s official: The Gulf oil spill is a titanic mess.

The Obama administration yesterday called in Hollywood director James Cameron, of “Titanic” and “Avatar” fame, to help fix the massive gusher fouling the Gulf of Mexico.

Cameron’s expertise in underwater filming and remote-vehicle technologies earned him a seat with elite scientists gathered in Washington in a desperate bid to find a solution to the leak, which has been spewing crude for six weeks.

The Environmental Protection Agency also invited to the brainstorming session diving pioneer Phil Nuytten, who built submersibles for Cameron’s 1989 deep-sea thriller, “The Abyss.”

The two pioneers of cinema and sea sat down at a meeting of more than 20 top scientists, engineers, and deepwater experts.

“James Cameron was in the room and knows many of the scientists and engineers who participated,” an official at the meeting said, describing the discussions as “highly technical.”

Cameron’s presence yesterday was not the first time Hollywood heavyweights have landed roles in the saga.

Kevin Costner, who starred as the water-breathing hero of “Waterworld,” got to audition technology he helped develop for cleaning up oil spills.

Inspired by his aquatic role in the 1995 movie, Costner funded Louisiana-based Ocean Therapy Solutions to develop centrifuges that can rapidly separate oil from contaminated seawater.

Waterworld? There’s a good omen. It was a big bomb—maybe that would seal the leak. Why doesn’t Costner use his schwantz to plug the damn hole? It’s supposed to be big enough.

Governor Jindal can’t get a straight answer on how to save the Louisiana wetlands, and these guys are rubbing elbows (and other body parts) with the beautiful people… and James Cameron. Doomed. We are doomed.

PS: Can’t we recruit the Brawny paper towel guy? We’d have to dome something about that racist slogan, but we respect diversity of opinion.

No, wait! Anybody remember Lloyd Bridges in Sea Hunt?

I picked a hell of a time to give up living!

No, wait! I have a better idea!

No, not Jessica—though I too believe she can do anything. What about Flipper? Or is he a Republican?

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Ranger Barack to the Rescue!

President Omoeba (sorry, Obama) went to the Gulf to take charge of the Gulf oil spill (re-take charge… that is, he was always in charge, you see, only now more so)…

… and all I got was this lousy photo op!

I don’t think either picture serves him well. Sure, in one he’s preening for the cameras, but in the other, the comparison between his bony leg sticking out of the too-big boot compares very unfavorably with the pant legs of the Coast Guard admiral neatly tucked into his tightly-laced boots. I understand the urge to buy for the long term, but Aobam stopped growing thirty years ago!

Anyhow, I think we know which picture we’ll see on the news, and which picture gives us the truest picture.

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Policy By Touch

What I mean by that is Obama ran on a warm and fuzzy platform. If it didn’t purr, he wasn’t for it. Which, of course, is moronic—not that it stopped people from voting for him.

To give him (very little) credit, however, some of his appointments are not so warm (Hillary) and not so fuzzy (Gates, Jones, Emanuel).

But warm and fuzzy policies aren’t going to keep the rest of us warm and fuzzy, as Arthur Laffer explains:

This week in Chicago, President-elect Barack Obama introduced key members of his new energy and environmental team and gave a statement expressing his administration’s ambitious goal to make America energy independent. While his desire to do so is sincere, such a strategy would be disastrous for our economy.

The platitude of “energy independence” makes zero economic sense.

The U.S. currently imports some 60% of the oil we use. To imagine an energy-independent U.S. today is to envision gas at $20 or more per gallon and a true depression.

While energy independence for the U.S. would enormously increase the price of oil at home, it would have the exact opposite effect in the rest of the world. Cheap oil for countries like China would surely not benefit the U.S. or the world’s environment.

Mr. Obama’s team is also prejudiced against offshore drilling and nuclear power. Goodness knows no one wants oil splattered all over our beaches, but if we don’t drill offshore, Indonesia will. Surely our safeguards are better than Indonesia’s. Any trade-off of Indonesian offshore drilling with U.S. offshore drilling is a no-brainer.

The Obama team’s chatter about creating jobs in alternative renewable energies is hollow to say the least. Here’s why: Any serious attempt to reduce carbon emissions must ultimately rely on a very large tax on the use of fossil fuels. And a very large tax on fossil fuels as an add-on to the taxes we already pay would drive the economy deeper into the ground — with or without alternative renewable energy jobs.

Those are just the big punches he landed; I cut out the jabs and glancing blows. And he didn’t even mention coal, our most plentiful resource.

But look an energy policy Laffer does like:

The only real solution is Al Gore’s proposal to offset a carbon tax dollar-for-dollar with either an income or payroll tax reduction. If a carbon tax increase were offset dollar-for-dollar with an income tax rate cut, I for one would strongly support the policy. The economy would benefit because the progressive income tax does far more damage than a carbon tax would, and we’d use less oil. It’s a win-win situation. Yet this perspective appears to be totally outside the Obama team’s ken.

Coulda knocked me over with a feather. But, yes, I see the value of transferring the burden from earned income to fossil fuel consumption.

One last uppercut that puts Obama to the canvas for the ten-count (ah, boxing metaphors—can you ever have enough?)

It’s telling that Mr. Obama and his appointees kept pointing to the successes achieved by California as examples of what should be done on a national level. Whenever California’s current policies — full of taxes and regulations that are crippling its economy — are held up as a model, you know the speaker has a lot to learn.

One…! Two…! Three…! Four…! …

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