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Home News-Telegram News Editorials OIL SPILL: Obama wrong to push for drilling moratorium

OIL SPILL: Obama wrong to push for drilling moratorium

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The Gulf oil spill is a horrible tragedy. It may take years to even begin to figure out the total damage to the Gulf's eco-system, not to mention the financial toll residents throughout the Gulf are having to endure because of the spill.

As is standard practice, when something catastrophic happens, we turn to the U.S. government for help and guidance. First, we must always remember that the federal government is not always an "all-powerful" entity that can wave a wand and fix a problem. Second, those fixes aren't always the right ones.

Take President Obama's intention to place a moratorium on deep-water drilling to prevent another oil spill like the BP disaster. It is simply not a wise policy.

Oil companies have been drilling in the Gulf for decades. And oil has been transported across the globe via ship just as long. There have been accidents and there have been leaks. And there will be more. But you don't shut down an industry because of the slight chance of an incident. Not when so much of our economy relies on that industry.

If the President has his way and the moratorium goes through, we can all expect hardship. It is certainly possible that fuel prices would reach unprecedented levels. And the Houston Chronicle recently estimated that a ban would cost tens of thousands of jobs in the Gulf Coast region alone. That would send a tidal wave through an already shaky national economy — an economy that is already burdened by an ominous national debt spearheaded by the President himself.

Two different federal judges have ruled against the drilling moratorium, but Interior Secretary Ken Salazar reportedly has found a loophole to get around the judicial rulings. That is simply playing games — and we don't need games.

What America needs is for the oil spill to be capped, cleaned up and then for everyone to move on. Higher safety measures that could help prevent another BP-like spill are welcomed,  but a complete overreaction does nobody any good.

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