Alexander Works to Overturn Drilling Ban

June 15, 2010

Alexander speaks at press conference

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-Quitman, and Members of the Gulf Coast congressional delegation held a press conference today to call for an end to the current moratorium on new deepwater drilling. In addition, Alexander joined the entire Louisiana delegation in the House of Representatives in cosponsoring legislation to overturn the president’s drilling ban.

During the bi-partisan press conference, Alexander reiterated his frustration with President Obama’s slow response to the oil disaster.

“The president’s hesitance in responding to the ongoing catastrophe has greatly hindered Governor Jindal in protecting our state. It has cost Louisiana valuable time – time we do not have – and the lack of urgency is disturbing. This is our federal oil, invading our federal waters; however, it is Louisiana’s ecosystems, environment and economy that are all being destroyed. Governor Jindal and our local leaders have had to wait too long for federal action. As the oil invades our fragile marshes, Louisiana should not be hampered by bureaucratic red tape in efforts to contain the oil and to prevent it from causing further damage to the Gulf Coast.”

Moreover, Alexander highlighted that the current moratorium would cause additional devastation.

“The administration is defending its deepwater drilling moratorium as an opportunity to evaluate safety measures. While we must take a serious look at enhancing these critical protections, we must also do all we can to protect those who depend on the energy sector to survive.

“The moratorium on deepwater energy production has already led companies to begin moving rigs overseas and stands to eliminate even more jobs than those already lost – essentially crippling our economy. This is not a responsible solution to the crisis.”

Alexander said he was glad to join House Members on both sides of the aisle to support legislation to annul this poor decision.

“The Louisiana House delegation has formed a unified front to call for an end to this harmful moratorium. This bill introduced by Congressman Bill Cassidy seeks to terminate the May 30 Minerals Management Service Notice to Lessees No. 2010-N04, which established a moratorium on deepwater energy production, by stating that the Notice ‘shall have no force or effect.’ While the full scope of this tragedy will not be known for months, we cannot hurt our economy further by halting offshore drilling. This industry provides countless direct and indirect jobs for the coastal states, and we must do all we can to help the thousands of who are out of work and whose livelihoods are in jeopardy.”

In advance of President Obama’s Oval Office Address, Alexander offered the following remarks:

“We are all too aware of the ongoing catastrophe occurring in our coastal waters and now on our shores. I am pleased that tonight President Obama will finally address the American public directly about the continuing crisis. I am hopeful he will step up and provide the federal leadership our region desperately needs and deserves to stop this leak and clean up our shores and waters.

“Everyone involved in this crisis – BP, Gulf residents, and local, state and federal government officials and agencies – must start working together to solve our country’s energy, economic, and environmental needs and ensure a similar disaster is prevented in the future.

“I continue to offer my prayers and support to those families who lost loved ones on April 20.”

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