More Blowback From Obama’s “Jobs-Friendly” Moratorium

Last week, when the Obama administration put out its happy estimate that they’ve “only” killed 8,000-12,000 jobs with the offshore drilling moratorium, Louisiana’s political leaders and ordinary citizens alike boiled with resentment. The fact that the administration would look at 8,000 jobs lost in one relatively small region of the country as a result of its policies and find that to be something to boast about was deeply offensive to people who desperately want to believe the federal government isn’t out to get them, you see.

Well, as it turns out, even the 8,000 to 12,000 jobs figure looks like a lie.


LSU’s Dr. Joseph Mason, chair of the banking department at the E.J. Ourso College of Business, has analyzed the Obama administration’s numbers and released a study this week which shows that, using the administration’s own methodology, the 8,000-12,000 number is off by between 40 and 60 percent.

Mason’s study, again using the methodology the administration purports to have used, comes up with the following numbers:

  • 19,536 jobs;
  • $5 billion in economic output;
  • $1.1 billion in earnings; and
  • $239 million in state and local tax revenues during the 6-month moratorium.
  • “The heart of this critique is that the administration cut its estimates by a seemingly ad hoc 40 to 60 percent,” explained Mason. “The justifications given in its report are not supported by U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis documentation. Without that methodologically unjustified cut, the Gulf starts with almost 20,000 jobs lost.”

    In a conference call with reporters on the subject Tuesday, Mason also noted that even by its own admission the administration didn’t undertake any economic analysis – as required by law – before imposing its moratorium. This fact was fleshed out in a Senate committee hearing when administration official Rebecca Blank told Sen. David Vitter that no such analysis was performed.

    “I find it shocking that an economic analysis was not taken prior to the moratorium being put into effect,” Mason said on a conference call with reporters Tuesday. “There’s been a growing influence in the Environmental Protection Agency over roughly the last decade to undertake environmental policy with absolutely no economic consideration whatsoever.”
    Under the circumstances, it’s just as well that the pre-moratorium analysis wasn’t done. As Mason demonstrates, the administration would likely have lied anyway.
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