Right-wing attacks Obama for drilling job losses that didn't happen

Right-wing media are falsely claiming that Obama “deliberately wrote off” 23,000 workers “in pursuit of its junk science-based [oil] drilling moratorium.” In fact, as The New York Times reports, the predicted job losses due to the moratorium have “failed to materialize.”

Right-wing media: Obama “deliberately wrote off” 23,000 workers “in pursuit of its junk science-based [oil] drilling moratorium”

Malkin: Obama “deliberately wrote off” the 23,000 drilling jobs “in pursuit of its junk science-based [oil] drilling moratorium.”
In an August 25 column, Michelle Malkin cited the “estimated 23,000 workers in the deepwater drilling industry whom the White House deliberately wrote off in pursuit of its junk science-based drilling moratorium,” as evidence of a “White House war on jobs.”

Wash. Times op-ed: “Oil workers get drilled.” In an August 25 Washington Times column titled “Oil workers get drilled: President's moratorium contributes to Gulf economic disaster,” Frank Perley claimed: “Job losses of about 23,000 are expected during the six-month ban,” but made no mention of the fact those losses have reportedly “fail[ed] to materialize.” From the column:

Job losses of about 23,000 are expected during the six-month ban, according to a memo by federal drilling regulator Michael Bromwich obtained by the Wall Street Journal. At least 9,450 of those are oil-drilling-company employees. BP has pledged $100 million to compensate those workers, but an estimated 14,000 additional jobs serving the oil industry are likely to disappear by the Nov. 30 expiration of the ban. Businesses such as drilling-equipment manufacturers and charter-boat operations that ferry supplies to the rigs are severely impacted by the moratorium. Providing assistance to those businesses would constitute an admission that Team Obama is contributing to economic devastation in the Gulf. So those folks, evidently, are out of luck.

NY Times: “Job Losses Over Drilling Ban Fail to Materialize”

NYT: Estimates of job losses, such as “the government's estimate of the drilling pause” to result in “23,000 lost jobs” are proving to be “too pessimistic.” In a August 24 article, the New York Times reported that after “the Obama administration called a halt to virtually all deepwater drilling activity in the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon blowout and fire in April, oil executives, economists and local officials complained that the six-month moratorium would cost thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in lost revenue.” The Times added:

Yet the worst of those forecasts has failed to materialize, as companies wait to see how long the moratorium will last before making critical decisions on spending cuts and layoffs. Unemployment claims related to the oil industry along the Gulf Coast have been in the hundreds, not the thousands, and while oil production from the gulf is down because of the drilling halt, supplies from the region are expected to rebound in future years. Only 2 of the 33 deepwater rigs operating in the gulf before the BP rig exploded have left for other fields.

While it is too early to gauge the long-term environmental or economic effects of the release of 4.9 million barrels of oil into the gulf, it now appears that the direst predictions about the moratorium will not be borne out. Even the government's estimate of the impact of the drilling pause -- 23,000 lost jobs and $10.2 billion in economic damage -- is proving to be too pessimistic.

NYT: “There are several reasons the suspension has not cut as deeply as anticipated,” such as oil companies using suspension to upgrade drilling equipment and shifting operations to onshore wells. The Times reported:

There are several reasons the suspension has not cut as deeply as anticipated.

Oil companies used the enforced suspension to service and upgrade their drilling equipment, keeping shipyards and service companies busy. Drilling firms have kept most of their workers, knowing that if they let them go it will be hard to field experienced teams when the moratorium is lifted. Oil companies have shifted operations to onshore wells, saving industry jobs.

And the administration has dropped repeated hints that the offshore drilling ban will be eased or removed before it is set to expire on Nov. 30.