Bill Clinton thinks drilling delays 'ridiculous'

There is a difference between an ideologue like Obama and a practical politician like Bill Clinton.

Without criticizing Obama directly, Bill Clinton, sitting on a panel at an energy conference, agreed with many of the points made by former President George Bush about oil and gas drilling, including the idea that it was stupid to prevent drilling for oil and gas at a time of economic rebuilding.


But according to multiple people in the room, Clinton, surprisingly, agreed with Bush on many oil and gas issues, including criticism of delays in permitting offshore since last year's Gulf of Mexico spill.

"Bush said all the things you'd expect him to say" on oil and gas issues, said Jim Noe, senior vice president at Hercules Offshore and executive director of the pro-drilling Shallow Water Energy Security Coalition. But Clinton added, "You'd be surprised to know that I agree with all that," according to Noe and others in the room.

Clinton said there are "ridiculous delays in permitting when our economy doesn't need it," according to Noe and others.

"That was the most surprising thing they said," Noe said.

The two former presidents both generally agreed on the need to get offshore drilling workers back on the job.

Clinton and Bush also agreed on the need for more domestic shale gas production, with Clinton noting that it has been done safely for years in his home state of Arkansas.

Clinton is a lot of things, but a stupid politician he is not. The problem when you have a president who believes in greening our energy supplies instead of increasing them comes into focus when practical politicians like Clinton and Bush comment on our current, inexplicable policy.

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