While you can be glad that the Obama Administration has lifted the offshore drilling moratorium for the Gulf of Mexico in time for elections, don’t be fooled by how good that sounds.  The Department of Interior’s moratorium was to be in place until November 30th of this year.  The drilling moratorium has instead been replaced with a hefty set of new regulations and restrictions with the potential for more to follow. 

That news provides uncertainty for the domestic energy industry, and does not bode well for those in the gulf region who want to get back to work.  Oil companies are not able to accurately plan for any new development projects or rig openings until the administration makes all of the new rules clear.  Already in the Gulf of Mexico, 36 oil rigs have been put out of work, 12,000 jobs have been lost, and five oil rigs have been relocated to the African continent this year.  Of course, it is in our best interest to conduct any future offshore drilling responsibly, but it is also in our interest to ensure that Americans keep their stake in this industry by proffering greater certainty in policy decisions.  It’s no secret that the administration is opposed to the use of fossil fuels, but they should recognize that these sources of energy are currently necessary to power the economy, as well as to create domestic jobs.   As they further restrict our own exploration and development, the unfortunate result is that the administration is pushing American jobs overseas.