Vitter Calls on Obama to Replace Proposed Deepwater Rig Shutdown with Immediate Safety Inspections

June 3, 2010

(Venice, La.) – U.S. Sen. David Vitter today wrote a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to replace his recently announced shutdown of deepwater rigs for a minimum of six months with immediate rig safety inspections instead.

The text of the letter follows:

June 3, 2010

VIA FACSIMILE AND ELECTRONIC MAIL
IMMEDIATE ATTENTION REQUESTED

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear President Obama,

I am very concerned about the recently announced shutdown of deepwater rigs for a minimum of six months. I urge you to replace this moratorium with immediate rig safety inspections.

Under this alternative, the approximately 33 affected deepwater rigs in the Gulf would receive immediate rigorous safety inspections. They would be shut down if inspections identified safety problems, but not otherwise.

During this current recession, Louisiana’s unemployment rates are 6.2%. The federal government needs to be focused on policies that will create jobs. This moratorium is estimated to eliminate 3,000 to 4,000 Louisiana jobs in the short term. It could eliminate up to 10,000 jobs and possibly 20,000 jobs throughout the course of the year. This moratorium also obstructs Louisiana’s ability to collect revenue from offshore activity, which is used for coastal restoration to protect the state from hurricanes.

Our workforce and economy have been significantly impacted from the ongoing oil spill crisis in the Gulf of Mexico. This deepwater moratorium could potentially be devastating for Louisiana. The likely impact of this moratorium is long term job destruction as these jobs leave the Gulf region permanently and move to other regions of the world.

Please consider my proposal to replace the moratorium with immediate rig safety inspections.

Sincerely,

David Vitter
U.S. Senator

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