June 11, 2010
Landrieu questions Salazar on moratorium
A report submitted to the President by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar on May 27 is being used to justify the current six month moratorium on deepwater drilling. Yet eight of 15 experts consulted with for the report disagree with decision to impose a moratorium.
During a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on June 9, U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., pressed Secretary Salazar to explain the Administration's decision.
"In the appendix of the May 27 report, it lists the names of 15 experts that you consulted with," Senator Landrieu told Secretary Salazar. "I received a letter yesterday from eight of them who say they disagree with your decision to impose the six-month moratorium. In their words, the report does not justify the moratorium as written and the moratorium will not contribute measurably to increase safety and it will have an immediate and long-term economic effect."
In their letter, which was sent to Senator Landrieu and several other government officials, the eight experts wrote: "We broadly agree with the detailed recommendations in the report and compliment the Department of Interior for its efforts. However, we do not agree with the six-month blanket moratorium on floating drilling. A moratorium was added after the final review and was never agreed to by the contributors."
Senator Landrieu also highlighted the job loss in the Gulf Coast that would result from an extended drilling moratorium.
"The consequences of this moratorium could be devastating to our state," Landrieu said. "Each of these 33 deepwater rigs directly employs 100 to 200 people and indirectly creates hundreds of other jobs. On behalf of the people I represent, I am asking: can you give any time certain that we can get our people back to work? And, if not, what are you going to tell the people in Louisiana to give them some confidence that you are doing everything and the President is doing everything he can so that we can get to the root of safety, implement it, so that we can produce the oil, not just for ourselves, but for the country that needs it."
Read the letter from the eight experts HERE