Moratorium Mischief

On the 65th day of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the crisis continued unmitigated, with hardly any talk of capping, containing, or cleaning the spill. Rather, the headlines on day 65 were about the federal court’s rejection of the Obama Administration’s moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

While the President’s legal team mounts their appeal and drafts a new explanation for why we need a “pause” in drilling across the gulf, they should include a chapter about Brazil. Specifically, why the “pause” excludes a multi-billion dollar, U.S. taxpayer-funded loan program designed to assist Brazil’s state-owned oil company, Petrobras, in drilling off the coast of Brazil in waters deeper than the Gulf of Mexico.

As you might expect, Brazil and Petrobras will benefit substantially from the U.S.-government loans, but the real boondoggle lies within President Obama’s gulf drilling moratorium. If the gulf becomes off-limits, much of its $124 billion offshore drilling industry, and the jobs and technology that come with it, will transfer from the Gulf of Mexico to Brazil. In fact, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation is already making plans to relocate its rigs to Brazil if they are idled by the U.S. drilling ban.

With the larger issue of safe drilling in mind, why is U.S.-financed drilling off the coast of Brazil, at depths beyond rigs in the gulf, not a concern for President Obama? Following the money exposes one angle.

Expanded drilling in Brazilian waters means more profits for Petrobras and its shareholders. Soros Fund Management is an investment juggernaut that holds around 15 million shares of Petrobras, worth between $600 million and $700 million. The chairman of Soros Fund Management is billionaire George Soros, the progressive activist, major Democratic Party donor, and generous contributor to then-Senator and now President Barack Obama. Soros also largely finances the Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank and advocate of President Obama’s political agenda.

Regardless of President Obama’s intentions, the money trail leads to a disturbing end. While the U.S. government barred 38,000 people from going to work on their rigs in the gulf, the biggest financier in Democrat politics was positioned to gain tremendous wealth, and as the history of Mr. Soros’ checkbook shows, so was our President and his party.