Oil rigsThe White House says the deepwater drilling moratorium will have little impact on unemployment.Photo courtesy BP America via FlickrA report released by the Obama administration on Thursday said that the Gulf of Mexico drilling moratorium has had little impact on unemployment, despite concerns that the ban would cripple the Gulf economy. An Interior Department estimate put the number of jobs lost at 23,000. The White House now says that number is between 8,000 and 12,000, and that many of the unemployed will return to work.

Louisiana senators think the report is a bunch of crap, AP reports:

[Sen. Mary] Landrieu and fellow Louisiana Sen. David Vitter repeatedly challenged the report’s accuracy and noted that it did not address what they called a de facto moratorium on shallow-water drilling. Fewer than a dozen shallow-water drilling permits have been issued in recent months, compared with an average of 40 a month before the BP spill, they said.

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The Wall Street Journal points out that in Louisiana parishes that support the most deepwater drilling, the number of jobs actually rose two months after the ban. And unemployment-insurance claims in three parishes dropped from April through August.

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Most oil employers haven’t laid off highly skilled workers despite the ban and have used the moratorium to do maintenance and repairs on some of their rigs.

How about adding a few solar panels?

More green news:

Speed of super-light: A 100 MPG, super-light car, weighing less than 1000 pounds, won the $5 million X Prize that seeks to inspire designs and reward for low polluting cars. (GreenBiz)

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Partners in clime no more: The EPA’s decision to phase out a program that has helped businesses create comprehensive greenhouse-gas management strategies came as a shock to industry groups. (ClimateBiz)

Light at the end of the mine shaft: The CEO of Austyralia’s BHP, the world’s largest mining concern, says his company will need to move away from coal if it wants to stay competitive. (Treehugger)

Shoots to the moon: If this global warming thing gets out of hand and we are forced to move to the moon, at least we won’t go hungry. Scientists are developing lunar greenhouses that are surprisingly close to usable. (Discovery)

Red light, green car: A new technology, called micro-hybrid, will bring the efficient stop-and-start engine found in hybrids to conventional cars, saving as much as 25 percent in fuel economy. (Yahoo! Green)