June 17, 2010
Vitter introduces legislation to end moratorium
Senator David Vitter (R-LA) and Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) this week both introduced legislation to lift the Obama Administration's six month offshore drilling moratorium, put in place in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
A statement from the office of Senator Vitter notes that offshore drilling provides 30 percent of U.S. oil production, is the second largest source of revenue to the federal government at $6 billion annually and has a direct employment of 150,000 individuals. The six month moratorium will result in rigs moving overseas to continue operations and increasing U.S. reliance on foreign sources of oil.
"This moratorium threatens to finish what the oil spill started. If it stays in place, even for six months, it will be a devastating blow to the economy of Louisiana and other Gulf states," said Senator Vitter. "My bill would simply nullify the president's ill-advised moratorium. The best way to prevent future oil spills is not to stop drilling altogether, but to improve the inspection process to ensure that our rigs are safe."
"This moratorium has impacted thousands of Houstonians in the offshore drilling industry including rig operators, equipment manufacturers, transportation and support staff," Rep. Olson said. "The Gulf Coast economy is already suffering from the oil spill, and is being further crushed by this painful and unnecessary moratorium. Industry experts indicate losses of millions of dollars per day and have explored moving operations overseas. It would take a minimum of 5-10 years to get production back to normal operations should these rigs leave. We don't shut down the entire airline industry while NTSB investigates a plane crash and we shouldn't do the equivalent to the energy industry."
Text of the legislation:
To terminate the moratorium on deepwater drilling issued by the Secretary of the Interior;
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. TERMINATION OF MORATORIUM ON DEEP WATER DRILLING.
The moratorium set forth in the Minerals Management Service Notice to Lessees No. 2010 - N04, dated May 30, 2010, and any suspension of operations issued in connection with the moratorium, shall have no force or effect.