The Obama administration has been tightening the grip around the collective necks of the fossil fuel industry. The goal is of course to kill it and nowhere is this more self evident than with oil exploration.

The most recent example is the studying to death of the Keystone pipeline. Allegedly, the Obama administration needs more time to determine the feasibility of such an undertaking. It is not as if we do not have tens of thousands of miles of pipeline in this nation, this one needs to be studied over and over. As we know, the review is an attempt to kill the project through delay.

In battling the fossil fuel industry, the Obama administration is employing a tactic that is usually used by unions in disputes with their employers – the rule book slowdown. The concept of a rule book slowdown is simple; follow the rules as exactly written, down to the last detail, and by doing so one’s work cannot be performed in a timely and efficient manner. It is in the nature of bureaucracies to micromanage every detail of work and if you literally follow the rules as written, you cannot perform your job; thus using the rules as a weapon. That following rules can be used as a job action is an indictment of our society in general but it is nothing new on the labor front. What is new is our government adopting this tactic as a weapon against a segment of our economy, which in the end will not only destroy the industry but hurt us all. The assault on the Keystone pipeline is just building upon the template employed against deep water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

Deep water drilling was stopped by the Obama administration in the wake of the BP oil disaster. A moratorium was declared which was subsequently challenged in court. Although the courts rescinded the ban, the Obama administration in response instituted a rule book slowdown. A six month moratorium has turned into nearly two years, with no end in sight.

Prior to the BP disaster, the government approved approximately seven deep water permits a month. Now, it is down to two and just getting a permit does not guarantee that a platform will be up and running any time soon as more rules must be complied with. Our bureaucracy is being used as a weapon. Byzantium has nothing on us.

Since President Obama has taken office, the price of a gallon of gasoline has nearly doubled. However, our loss in treasure is not limited to the cost of gasoline. His assault on oil is costing us jobs. Job loss estimates for the Keystone pipeline have been bantered about in the neighborhood of fifty thousand. This number is dwarfed by the losses in the Gulf, upwards of 160,000.  Along with losing jobs, capital investment has also declined. In the Gulf, investment in deep water drilling has declined by $24 billion and capital being capital; it will always find a home. Where did this money go? Well, eleven of our deep water rigs (representing a $21 billion investment) have ended up in Brazil, Egypt and Angola; you can kiss that money goodbye.

We have an administration that is bent on changing our nation from our individual freedoms to how we live our day to day lives. It will employ any tactic to see its mission through. We are slowly being strangled and if we do not fight back now, we will not have any breath later to do so.  


The following articles have been used for the factual references about the state of oil drilling in the Gulf. They are a good read in their own right:

Deepwater drilling moratorium has created ‘hidden victims,’ study says

Gulf Oil Drilling Moratorium, ‘Permitorium’ to Cost Nation $24B, Industry Says