Obama Offshore Oil Moratorium Breaks Promise, Hurts Economy, Kills Jobs

Washington, D.C., December 1, 2010 — Today, the Obama Administration pulled an about-face on its earlier plan to allow more domestic offshore oil drilling. The Interior Department placed a moratorium on offshore drilling off the Pacific, Atlantic, and eastern Gulf Coasts for at least seven years and cited last year’s BP oil spill as the excuse.

The move drew harsh criticism from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, with a statement from Myron Ebell, Director of CEI’s Center on Energy and Environment:

As a candidate President Obama promised to work to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. But the Obama Administration’s announcement of a moratorium on offshore drilling in the Pacific, Atlantic, and eastern Gulf is only the latest in a string of policies designed to make us more dependent on foreign oil by reducing domestic production.

President Obama is dishonestly pursuing policies that are the opposite of what he promised and that are against America’s economic interests and opposed by a strong majority of Americans.

The United States is the only country in the world with potential major offshore oil resources that is not actively exploiting them. The Obama Administration has decided that it is better for Cuba to bring in China, Russia, and Venezuela to drill a few miles off the Florida Keys than to allow American companies to drill in American waters.

While creating green energy jobs requires taxpayer subsidies and government mandates, producing more oil in federal offshore areas would create hundreds of thousands of high-paying jobs while producing hundreds of billions of dollars to the federal treasury in royalty and auction payments.