A "new and improved" version of Secretary Salazar's Deepwater offshore drilling ban was unveiled today. There seems to be little practical difference between this ban and the one that has been stayed by the courts as "arbitrary and capricious".
That hasn't deterred Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) from opening his yap and exposing his utter lack of a grasp on the issue, quite a gaffe for the #2 Dem on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Administration allies hailed the reinstatement of the ban Monday and said that it would not harm the Gulf’s economy. “This moratorium will reduce oil spill risk while the Gulf will continue to produce oil," said Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), who chairs the House Energy panel’s subcommittee on Energy and the Environment. "As new laws and safety measures are put into place on these few dozen rigs, 97 percent of the manned rigs in the Gulf will still be allowed to work,” he said.
Rep. Markey has apparently succumbed to the common layman's mistake of confusing "rigs" with "platforms". For a man in his position of responsibility, it is shameful that he doesn't know the difference.
Rigs, especially Deepwater rigs, are where the bulk of the money is spent. Idling 33 rigs by executive fiat has a disastrous effect on the economy and the job outlook for Louisiana and every other Gulf state.
Markey's 97% is a cruel joke. I don't know the figures off the top of my head, but I would be surprised if there were anywhere close to 1,100 manned platforms (permanent producing structures), the number needed to make Rep. Markey's comment semi-coherent.
Sleep well tonight, Rep. Markey, and know that your willful ignorance of the issues and gross misrepresentation of the facts might costs thousands of hardworking people their livelihoods.