In the Pipeline: 4/21/11

Year One: Economic costs of the Moratorium and Permitorium CFIF (4/20/11) reports: One year to the day after the dreadful BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Obama administration’s responses to the crisis continue blowing holes in the regional and national economies. President Obama’s choices make George W. Bush’s responses to Hurricane Katrina seem like the epitome of competence and wisdom…Gulf Coast residents remember well that it took President Obama days to publicly awake from his torpor and say anything substantive about the spill. They remember the administration’s early defense of BP’s reactions; they remember its failure to stop the use of chemical dispersants that arguably did more environmental damage than the oil would have done if it floated to the top to be skimmed…They remember that the president declined several offers of assistance from foreign outfits expert in such situations, and remember that he refused to approve Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s plan to use dredge material to create berms to block the oil from reaching fragile wetlands. On issue after issue and decision after decision, helpful action was late, if it came at all.

In most instances, we hate to say “I told you so”.  But since the President made a big deal about production increases two weeks ago Wall Street Journal (4/20/11) reports: Offshore oil production, most of which comes from the Gulf, is expected to average 1.55 million barrels a day this year, down 13% from 2010, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration…Following the April 20, 2010, blast on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig operated by BP and the subsequent oil spill, the Obama administration stopped awarding permits for deep-water drilling until late February…The drilling suspension, along with a new, slower permitting process, will result in the loss this year of about 375,000 barrels of oil a day, according to energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie. That is roughly equivalent to one-third of the production in Libya that remains shut down because of political turmoil there.

Odd.  We figured she would rejoin the Socialist International E&E News (4/20/11) reports: Carol Browner will join the Center for American Progress as a distinguished senior fellow, returning to the think tank where she worked before her stint as President Obama’s chief climate and energy adviser…Browner, a former U.S. EPA administrator under President Clinton, served for two years as one of Obama’s advisers and helped broker such deals as the first nationwide regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks. She announced her resignation in January, and her departure last month was soon followed by the consolidation of the Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy into the Domestic Policy Council…In a press release today, CAP President John Podesta said Browner’s work at the think tank will focus on domestic and international policy development. She will also serve on the group’s executive committee…CAP, Podesta said, will benefit from Browner’s “vision and experience.”

On energy policy, Obama adopts an old mantra at the Facebook Town Hall: If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull Business Week (4/20/11) reports: President Barack Obama likely has a few more “friends” after a town hall at Facebook headquarters that drew questions from site users and the youthful employees of the social media giant…The president’s first question Wednesday came from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who asked Obama about his plan to curb the federal deficit…Most of the conversation centered on earnest discussion of the president’s policies on the economy, immigration, energy and education…Lighter notes came at the beginning, when Obama joked about the famously informal Zuckerberg wearing a tie. At the end, Zuckerberg presented Obama with a hooded Facebook sweatshirt, the 26-year-old CEO’s signature attire…The event was held on Facebook’s Silicon Valley campus before hundreds of employees, along with other politicians and tech industry luminaries.

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