Rep. Melancon Comments on Court Ruling Against Moratorium

June 22, 2010

Urges President Not to Appeal Decision

WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Congressman Charlie Melancon (LA-03) today released the following statement after federal District Judge Martin Feldman ruled against the Administration’s six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling in the wake of the BP oil spill.

“Today’s court ruling is encouraging news for the tens of thousands of Louisianians whose jobs depend on the oil and gas industry. But as long as the Administration is appealing the decision, the future of energy production in the Gulf remains unclear. I hope the President will stand with the thousands of Louisiana families who have spoken loudly with one voice about the dangers this moratorium poses to our economy and order his Administration not to appeal today’s decision.”

The offshore energy industry is a major economic engine for south Louisiana, providing thousands of jobs and supporting numerous locally-based service companies in Congressman Melancon’s Congressional district. Congressman Melancon has been pressing the Administration to end the moratorium on deep-water drilling and clarify new regulations for shallow-water drilling that have created a “de facto” moratorium in the Gulf.

Congressman Melancon has met with Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to discuss options for ending the moratorium, while still addressing the worker safety and environmental issues raised by the Deepwater disaster. Congressman Melancon led the delegation letter requesting this meeting.

Congressman Melancon has joined the entire Louisiana delegation in asking the President to meet with them to discuss how to end the current six-month moratorium on deep-water drilling as quickly as possible. In his meeting with President Obama earlier this month, Congressman Melancon asked the President directly to speed up the federal review of offshore rigs so the moratorium could end to prevent further harm to Louisiana’s economy.

Congressman Melancon has been leading efforts in Louisiana to coordinate the private, federal, state, and local response to the oil leak caused by the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil platform on April 20th. He represents in Congress the areas of coastal Louisiana most directly affected by the oil leak, including Plaquemines, St. Bernard, Terrebonne, Lafourche and southern Jefferson Parishes. The Deepwater Horizon platform was located 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana’s Third Congressional District.

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