Obama's drilling moratorium, round 2

The Obama administration says a deepwater ban is necessary. But is it worth the potential toll on the economy?

Obama meets with locals affected by the oil spill in Louisiana.
(Image credit: Getty)

Despite two federal court rejections of a drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico, President Obama has ordered a second round of deepwater suspensions while federal investigators examine the BP catastrophe. "A pause on deepwater drilling," said Interior Secretary Ken Salazar in an official announcement, "is essential and appropriate to protect communities, coasts, and wildlife from the risks that deepwater drilling currently pose." But some say the drilling ban, which could last until Nov. 30, might ultimately prove more harmful to the region than the oil spill itself. Is Obama right to reinstate the deepwater moratorium? (Watch a Fox Business report about Obama's second moratorium)

Drill, baby, drill — please! Obama's drilling ban is entirely "wrongheaded," says the Houston Chronicle in an editorial. It will "cost tens of thousands of drilling-related jobs across the Gulf," and reduce funds to the federal Treasury "by drying up royalties in federally owned areas." Deepwater drilling needs to be safer, but decimating the economy isn't the way to achieve that goal.

"Alternatives to offshore drilling moratorium needed to spare Gulf coast economy"

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It's a prudent move: By imposing the moratorium, "the administration has reaffirmed one of the basic lessons of this mess: that industry claims cannot be accepted at face value," says The New York Times in an editorial. So until oil companies show they "can drill safely in deep waters," they should not be allowed to continue. Of course, "one must sympathize" with oil workers who've lost their jobs. But "it would be folly to resume drilling" before we know it's safe.

"A new, and necessary, moratorium on drilling"

There's no easy answer: Here's "the truth," says Bryan Walsh in Time. "We can either get back to offshore drilling quickly, or we can try to do it safely — but we can't have both." States like Louisiana depend on oil production to keep their economies afloat. And without the federal investigation, another "deepwater blowout" could be right around the corner. So regardless of what happens, "either answer could mean further trouble for the Gulf Coast."

"Is the deepwater drilling moratorium worse than the oil spill?"

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