Obama Backs Billion-Dollar Loan To PEMEX For Gulf Oil Drilling

There are things you can get angry about, there are things which disgust you and then there are things which are just dispiriting. This is one of those…

Despite President Obama’s moratorium on U.S. deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, the U.S. Export-Import Bank intends to guarantee $1 billion in loans to PEMEX, the Mexican state oil company, to bolster the company’s oil drilling in the region.

The bank, which is the official American export credit agency loaned more than $1 billion to PEMEX in 2009 — when the company was the bank’s largest borrower — in support of its drilling activities. That year, the bank also guaranteed two loans totaling $300 million made by a commercial lender.

The Export-Import Bank says this doesn’t have anything to do with Obama’s moratorium since none of the projects it’s going to finance are deepwater projects.

Oh, OK.

Of course, Bureau of Ocean Energy permitting for shallow-water Gulf projects in America is moving ahead at snail’s pace, with a grand total of four permits issued between May 28 and September 1. And as a result, 30 percent of our shallow-water drilling fleet is now sitting idle at dockside. So if the defense of this Mexican loan guarantee is that it’s apples and oranges with respect to Obama’s moratorium, that won’t wash either.

The loan guarantee isn’t the problem, by the way. The Export-Import Bank has given almost $8 billion in loan guarantees to PEMEX since 1998. We buy a ton of Mexican oil and a good many American jobs are tied up with that trade; it’s a good thing to make those loans if the Mexicans repay them, which so far they have.

But while there’s nothing wrong with helping the Mexicans drill for oil in the Gulf, it’s particularly offensive to be grubstaking them when American workers are being forced to take unemployment checks because the Obama administration is dragging its feet.

And when you point this stuff out as a reason why you can’t stand this president, they call you ignorant, unhinged and racist. I guess they figure if they can heap enough insult on top of injury they can goad you into doing something which justifies their abuse.

This isn’t sustainable, by the way. It can’t continue. The repercussions will be terrible for everyone. Can’t they understand that?

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