The Obama Administration Took a $10 Billion Dive into Ultra-Deep Ocean Drilling.
Attempting to deflect blame for their feeble response to the Gulf oil disaster, the administration keeps repeating “Bee-Pee, Bee-Pee” so relentlessly that they can’t get through a paragraph without sounding like the frantically peddling Roadrunner of cartoon fame.
While most of the press has slowly gotten around to criticizing the pathetic containment and cleanup aspect of this gusher, no one seems interested in fact that the Obama administration has a multi-billion dollar investment in deep ocean drilling. Actually, in ultra-deep ocean drilling.
Last August, after a warm personal visit with Brazilian President Lula de Silva, President Obama ordered the US government-controlled Export-Import Bank to extend a $10 billion loan to oil giant Petrobras for the purpose of funding deep water drilling off the coast of Brasil. While BP’s big gusher was drilled an astonishing 5,000 feet under water, the US-funded offshore Brazilian field lies under 7,000 to 9,000 feet of water.
So while restricting US deep drilling, shallow-drilling, and terrestrial drilling, Obama put the US taxpayers on the hook to guarantee a $10 billion loan for ultra-deep drilling by Petrobras, which already controls 80% of the world’s deep-water drilling rigs.
And who is Petrobras? The socialist-led government of Brazil owns 50.1% of Petrobras’ voting stock, while the rest is owned by private investors. The biggest of these investors is Democrat sugar-daddy George Soros, who showers all manner of left-wing causes with what some might consider “protection money.” Petrobras is Soro’s largest single investment, estimated to be somewhere around $811 million. His other large investments include Hess Petroleum, other oil and mining interests, and an active position in energy hedge funds.
More recently, Soros sold 22 million shares of Petrobras common stock and purchased preferred stock, which has a dividend premium set at 10% per year. This was accomplished just days before President Lula announced the government was undertaking a larger nationalization and sent common shares reeling, with common stock investors losing $7 billion in a single day.
Soros’ oil investments are clustered around imported oil, and consequently, he has a massive interest in restricting US domestic production. And he funds the anti-drilling lobby in the US generously, all without the slightest curiosity from the astonishingly naïve American press corps.
Update: Petrobras announced Friday that they will expand deep drilling to the Black Sea off Turkey in 7,000 feet of water.