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Obama leak response damages further Melancon

Some kind of unpredictable, chance event had to come out of nowhere to give Democrat Rep. Charlie Melancon a chance to knock off incumbent Republican Sen. David Vitter this November, given the dynamics he faced. Lo and behold, one came – except it is going to have the entirely opposite fate of sealing Melancon’s defeat far more thoroughly than any efforts regarding containment to date of the blowout well in the Gulf of Mexico.

It’s not that event but rather the doings of the Democrat Melancon endorsed for president, winner Barack Obama, attached to the disaster that has made Melancon’s task (hard to imagine) even more difficult. As if Melancon did not have enough to fight off – co-partisan with Obama and a deeply unpopular Democrat Party, his own questionable votes and actions in office, facing a slightly vulnerable but well-positioned incumbent – now Obama’s response to the Apr. 20 accident, partly conditioned by his own ineffective response and failure to manage effectively an agency whose policies and procedures were lax and lacking, is to shut down Louisiana offshore drilling and place other onerous requirements on it.

While these proclamations may be red meat thrown to the know-nothings that infest much of the environmentalist movement and act to shore up that part of the disintegrating Obama electoral coalition, this overreaction – enhanced safety measures for existing and new drilling should take at a maximum no more than a few weeks, not six months, to implement – will cost Louisiana thousands of jobs in the short term and tens of thousands over the long haul. Relevant to government, a small but significant drop in revenues will occur for the state already struggling with budget concerns, may set back by years coastal restoration efforts, and for the foreseeable future trigger a large and significant revenue reduction for local governments around the Gulf.

Oil exploration and production operates on a lengthy timeline. Decisions are made that don’t bear fruit until years later (if they do), so to make operations minimal for months in the Gulf obviously not only drastically curtails economic activity – and government revenues from it – during that time but also well into the future as companies plan around that and shift activity to other areas that thus may induce little Gulf action for the next several years. This may impede Louisiana’s coastal restoration efforts since the federal law that begins to divert what was federal royalty money, especially that of new discoveries, to state coffers for preservation efforts begins in the next few years, and that activity may not be there as a result of this Obama order.

So now all of this gets hung around Melancon’s neck. Even though Melancon as a legislator has been more friendly than not to the oil industry, he cannot escape the fact that it is his guy that is doing this to Louisiana’s people, and his party that he helps keep in legislative power has been supporting measures like this even before the crisis. The blowback may be farther – Democrat present and potential candidates for the Third Congressional District, already considered underdogs, will suffer as this is the epicenter of the industry in the state, and even next year Democrats running for state offices around the coast may suffer.

But Melancon will feel it the worst. Running a campaign that, at best, has been on life support from the beginning, this is the last thing he needs, because it is the last thing the people of Louisiana need, being sacrificed on the altar of environmental correctness.


Mr. Harris Plutocrat said...

Another professionally moronic post from the professor most willing to emit such gas.

Complaining about the MMS's "lax and lacking" "policies and procedures" as the fault of Obama is the sort of great chutzpah that only an ivory tower ideologue such as Jeff Sadow could possibly miss. Of course it is the Sadows and Jindals and neocons who corrupted the MMS. That viciously anti-deregulation streak of hatred from you people (always brought forth with the same sort of anti-commie, anti-america denunciations that hearken back to that golden age of southern prejudice) is what neutered the MMS. You surely read my last post describing in detail what any good prof would already know. But you choose again to avoid the difficult questions because it doesn't fit your preconceived narrative. People like Jeff Sadow don't want to debate subtleties of agency capture, or the delicate balance of regulation with the free-market. You much prefer to whip yourself into a hateful delusion and lock yourself in your cocoon.

Lets take a look again, at this, and maybe this time you'll come around. As the Wall Street Journal (not a liberal rag) reports, after a spill in 2000, the [fed Minerals Management Service] issued a safety notice saying that such a back-up device is 'an essential component of a deepwater drilling system.' The industry pushed back in 2001, citing alleged doubts about the capacity of this type of system to provide a reliable emergency backup. By 2003, government regulators decided that the matter needed more study after commissioning a report that offered another, more honest reason: 'acoustic systems are not recommended because they tend to be very costly.' I guess that depends on what they're compared to. The system costs about $500,000 per rig."

Only a professionally-cocooned ideologue like Jeff Sadow could blame Obama of all people for the failure to stop the blowout. There is a huge difference between ideologues like Jeff, who worship political idols, and liberals. When a GW Bush fails miserably, he is quick to blame underlings and servants, even though he himself is responsible. But when Obama isn't even responsible for a failure, he does the honorable thing and insists that anything that goes wrong is under his watch and his responsibility. That is REAL leadership, a leader taking responsibility for everything, even when it is unwarranted. Unlike your godawful Bush years when people like Lynndie England and Steven Hatfill were dragged out to serve as scapegoats.

PS: I loved your feeble little lash-out about "know-nothings that infest much of the environmentalist movement". It was the environmentalists who wanted regulated safety precautions on dangerous rigs like this. But Jeff wants to just pout about "know-nothings" from his chair deep within the neo-con cocoon of anti-science and professional denialism.

Anonymous said...

It is unbelievable that the Obama Administration appointed a crony of RFK Jr. to head MMS in the first place.