Oct 12, 2010 3:38 PM
BATON ROUGE - Today, Lt. Governor Scott Angelle responded to the announcement by U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar that the moratorium on deepwater drilling has been lifted by the Obama Administration.
“We have worked vigorously over the past four months urging our federal government to lift this prolonged, senseless and unnecessary deepwater moratorium, as well as the shallow water ‘de facto’ moratorium that we currently face. In coordination with the Gulf Economic Survival Team (GEST), we have hosted rallies, initiated letter-writing campaigns and conducted an on-line petition resulting in over 175,000 signatures opposing the administration’s policy.
“While today’s announcement lifting the moratorium is welcome news, we fully realize that we have only crossed the 50-yard line with regard to getting our men and women back to work fueling America. Just as has happened for shallow water operations, new deepwater rules from the Dept. of Interior will no doubt result in permitting delays that will also inhibit our economic recovery from the actual moratorium. Therefore, GEST will continue to push the ball further down the field by working to eliminate the bottlenecks that are hindering the shallow water drilling permitting process and, we predict, the new deepwater permitting process as well.
“Since June, we have facilitated weekly phone calls and meetings between the oil and gas industry and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE), and have submitted recommendations for resolving regulatory issues that are halting the resumption of offshore oil and gas production. Through my weekly phone calls with BOEMRE Director, Michael Bromwich, I will continue to offer solutions to this permitting delay, and emphasize that current federal policies are putting the jobs of thousands of hard-working Americans along the GulfCoast in jeopardy. We press forward with renewed vigor because we appreciate the urgency required to get us back to work fueling America.”