May 29, 2010

Wouldn't it be nice if MSNBC would do a better job of identifying these corporate lackeys before they allow them on the air spewing oil industry propaganda? The American Petroleum Institute's senior economic adviser Rayola Dougher came on to tell us all how safe offshore oil drilling is how terrible any delay for new drilling is going to be for the oil industry. She said something similar to USA Today:

BP spill brakes deep-water drilling industry expansion:

The Obama administration on Thursday took stringent steps to pause the industry's steady march to drill in ever deeper waters. President Obama wants more safety measures in place to prevent another massive oil spill such as the one that British energy giant BP is attempting to plug after six weeks and millions of gallons of spilled oil in the Gulf.

..."There will be more regulation, and every sane person should welcome that," says Fadel Gheit, senior energy analyst for market research firm Oppenheimer.

The BP spill, now the worst in U.S. history according to government estimates, prompted a ban on new offshore well drilling earlier this month. The Obama administration on Thursday extended that ban for six months for new drilling in depths greater than 500 feet. It halted work on all 33 deep-water exploratory wells in the Gulf pending investigations into the spill. It also suspended, until at least 2011, Shell's plans to drill five wells in the Arctic this summer. And it canceled several planned lease sales for new oil and gas exploration off the coast of Virginia and in the western Gulf.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar also said new safety measures would be required for the industry, including certification of equipment meant to prevent well blowouts, tougher inspections of deep-water operations and more requirements around key steps in well drilling.

Salazar said the pause on some drilling is needed to prevent a repeat of the BP oil spill — which has resulted in the nation's largest-ever oil spill response. The American Petroleum Institute calls the delays on new wells very stringent, given that thousands of oil and gas platforms are operating safely in the Gulf and have been for years.

The delays "are of great concern to the industry," says Rayola Dougher, senior economic adviser to API. They'll not only cost producers time and money but will cost jobs in the already devastated Gulf Coast region, she says.

Chevon, in a statement, said halting deep-water drilling, even temporarily, would "have lasting energy security and negative economic consequences" for the country. It said "responsible drilling" should be allowed to continue.

Her concern for those dead oil rig workers was pretty overwhelming, wasn't it? Oh wait, she didn't bother to mention them. She didn't express much concern for the people who's lives have been destroyed by this oil rushing ito the Gulf either. But she is terribly worried about those oil industry workers. It's all about the little people don't you know.

The MSNBC host allows her to straight up lie when she says this. I don't even know his name but I know it's not David Shuster. He'd have never let this woman get away with this. Neither would Rachel Maddow.

Dougher: We have operated safely in the Gulf of Mexico since 1947. This has been an extraordinary, unprecedented event. We certainly want to know all the causes and all the reasons and make sure we have everything in place to operate safely. The 33 rigs and platforms that were shut down, exploratory platforms, they've just passed rigorous safety tests so we are concerned that there's delay and there will be new regulations and we don't know what those will do and how long that will delay things and that does have an impact.

One study said just even a six month moratorium would mean a loss of 80,000 barrels a day, 4% of production. If you extend that any further, a year or two out from there you could lose as much as 20% so it does start to add up. It is significant.

She also looked like she was about to choke when the host asked her if she thought they should be drilling backup wells on all the rigs in case they had another accident like the one at Deepwater Horizon. Heaven forbid if they did that someone might not be able to pay her salary any more.

I guess it's asking too much for the MSNBC host to point out her conflict of interest and let their viewers know who's interest the API is protecting and that their CEO Jack Gerard is a lobbyist.

Jack N. Gerard is an industry lobbyist who led the National Mining Association from 2001 to 2005, before moving to the American Chemistry Council as its president. In June 2008, he announced that he would be assuming leadership of the American Petroleum Institute (API) in autumn 2008.

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