oil companies: Obama never said don’t pay them for six months

Court Blocks Obama Ban on Deep Water Drilling

OK, so this is in response to the bruhaha about the smackdown ruling (and it was all that) by federal judge Martin Feldman today. The ruling says, in essence, that the perceived danger of drilling [gulf disaster notwithstanding] does not trump a region’s right to make a living. OK, but just wait a second here. Obama never told the oil companies to stop paying the workers, just to halt the deepwater drilling!

Instead of fighting Obama’s ruling, these companies (and Judge Feldman) should embrace the opportunity that such a moratorium provides. Just think of what could be done in six months of paid training to strengthen the safety and esprit de corps within these respective companies. Oh what couldn’t be done in six months!

To begin with, all of the refineries, wells and anything they operate in US waters could use a complete safety, cleaning and maintenance evaluation and overhaul. Top to bottom; every scrap!  Then, the workers could create safety benchmarks, standard operating procedures and training manuals. They could cross-train, so every worker is trained in more than one job. They could work on some team building and trust exercises. Take a college course, maybe. Whatever.  It could be like a sabbatical, focused on learning and sharing ideas; a kind of combination retreat and skunkworks.

The moratorium on deep water drilling should stay in place. Oil companies should use this time to pay their workers while they perform the necessary audits and safety standards. They can afford it!  Six months off the rig, or at least away from a production/bottom line focus, could provide decades of safety and innovation in the years to come.

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