Drilling Ban Put 23K Out of Work But BP's paying for it, White House says By Polly Davis Doig, Newser Staff Posted Aug 21, 2010 8:06 AM CDT 21 comments Comments The Transocean Development Driller III, bottom, and Development Driller II, drill relief wells at the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil wellhead, Friday, Aug. 20, 2010. (Chuck Cook) (Newser) – The federal moratorium on deepwater drilling isn't helping unemployment, with some 23,000 workers out of work as a result if the ban holds for six months. A July 10 White House memo showed that the ban would idle 9,450 people directly, and another 14,000 indirectly, reports the AP. The White House re-issued its moratorium three days after the memo was written. The Interior Department notes that the economic impact hasn't hit worst-case scenario and that BP has set up a $100 million fund for workers affected by the suspension.