Already Hundreds of Gulf Jobs Set to Move Overseas due to Obama Moratorium

Jul 29, 2010

by Meg Bloomgren

Today’s Houston Chronicle reports that international oil field services company Baker Hughes is relocating hundreds of American jobs overseas as a result of the federal moratorium on offshore energy exploration. 

Baker Hughes CEO Chad Deaton made the announcement yesterday at Rice University that the company will relocate 300 of its 2,100 Gulf-based employees overseas and also move 25 percent of its assets.  Deaton warned that the moratorium and the real uncertainty caused by it could lead to companies moving operations from the Gulf indefinitely in the months ahead.  Deaton said that the moratorium could cost 20,000 jobs directly involved in offshore operations, and 200,000 indirect jobs in the coming years. 

This announcement further demonstrates that the Obama administration’s ill advised decision in late May to put America’s resources in the Gulf under lock and key will have long-term consequences for our nation.  In addition to thousands of jobs lost, the moratorium will mean more oil imports at potentially higher prices to consumers and less economic growth. 

Perhaps as troubling as the existing moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico is legislation being considered in both houses of Congress this week that would only add to the expected job losses caused by the moratorium. In its current form, H.R. 3534, the "Consolidated Land, Energy, and Aquatic Resources Act of 2010" (our Key Vote letter in opposition) would dramatically increase energy taxes and create regulatory conditions that make energy production cost-prohibitive, not just in the Gulf, but throughout the entire country, which would increase U.S. dependence on imported energy and jeopardize thousands of jobs across the U.S.

The U.S. Chamber along with a coalition of Gulf business groups is calling on the Obama Administration to immediately lift the moratorium on jobs and growth in the Gulf of Mexico.  Lend your voice to this effort and send a letter to President Obama and Vice President Biden today.

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