Permit More Permits, Please

Want jobs? The National Ocean Industries Association and the American Petroleum Institute have the answer: restore the number of exploration and offshore drilling permits to their levels from before the Gulf Oil Spill.

In a study both organizations released last month, they report that 400,000 jobs stand to be gained by 2013 if the government began issuing permits at the rate at which it used to before the Deepwater Horizon incident. Given that it was the first US offshore rig spill since 1969 (once every 40 years is a pretty good record) and that predictions of environmental damage were largely overestimated, it’s time to end this madness.

After failing to abate sky-high unemployment with the $823 billion Keynesian disaster (a.k.a. The Stimulus) and with two rounds of quantitative easing, the government has a chance to finally do something that will put Americans back to work and will contribute to sustainable growth. The Obama administration should set aside its unfounded fears of sudden disaster and take advantage of such an easy opportunity to do good.