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Jan 20, 2011 6:34 PM by Melissa Hawkes

Officials Pushing for Drilling Permits in Gulf

The Obama Administration says drilling off Louisiana's coast will likely never return to the same pace as before April 20 when the Deepwater Horizon exploded. Despite the announcement, officials in Louisiana are working hard to make sure it does.
Governor Jindal has turned to the Department of Natural Resources Secretary, Scott Angelle, to get things moving in Washington.
Angelle said, "the governor has asked me to focus exclusively on the short term and getting through the bottle neck or the blockades."
He said there are three main obstacles standing in the way of getting new drilling permits. One is meeting new containment regulations.
"It will be the tightest on the planet and it will require companies to have access to certain kinds of containment equipment, " he said.
Four major oil companies are spending one billion dollars to purchase containment equipment. The equipment is something they'll share with other companies . Another obstacle is an 80-page compliance document. It's something the industry has always had, but Angelle says it's no longer just a recommendation.
He explained, " those guidance documents were put together specifically for guidance, they were not commandments."
What Angelle says is the biggest problem will be meeting environmental standards.
"There has not been one environmental assessment produced since the lifting of the moratorium," he said. "In my opinion its the ability to get these environmental assessments conducted in a timely fashion."
Angelle says the only way drilling will resume is if all three issues are resolved, he says he's hopeful that'll happen in the next few months.

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