Cao Joins House Colleagues in Flight Over Spill Site;Calls for Immediate End to Moratorium on Offshore Drilling

August 5, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Anh “Joseph” Cao (LA-02) joined three of his House colleagues in a flight over the site of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Joining Cao in an airplane chartered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security were Representatives Mike Pence (IN-06), Charlie Dent (PA-15) and Pete Olson (TX-22), all members of a Congressional energy working group.

The Congressmen also met with Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser and some small business operators whose livelihood has been affected by the spill. The purpose of the tour was to assess the status of the spill, including the containment and cleanup operations, and its impact on fishermen, seafood processors, restauranteurs, oil rig workers and others whose livelihood is directly tied to the Gulf of Mexico.

Following the flyover, Cao said, “Thankfully, except for one very small slick, we did not see any visible sign of oil in the water, which I believe reflects the Administration’s hard work and commitment over the past three and a half months to contain and clean up the spill. We’re hopeful that the oil that did leak into the Gulf is biodegrading on its own, and that the long-term impact is not as bad as the direst predictions.”

“At the same time,” Cao added, “it’s obvious the spill and its consequences continue to have a tremendous negative impact on our economy. People remain out of work and unable to support their families. To make matters worse, the moratorium on offshore drilling is driving oil rigs out of the Gulf. Companies are moving rigs to far-off places where they know they can drill, and because of that, many more people in Louisiana are losing jobs.”

Cao urged the Administration to lift its July 12th moratorium on drilling immediately. He said, “the interruption in drilling is yet another blow to an economy that has suffered much already over the spill. The oil and gas industry is a huge economic engine for the state, and we simply cannot afford to let that engine sit idle at a time when two of our other major industries–seafood and tourism–are still taking a big hit from the spill.”

Cao said, “Today, I am calling on the Administration to continue its commitment to waging an effective response to the spill. I am asking the Administration to reconsider its decision to impose a drilling moratorium and see the harm that shutting down the offshore oil and gas industry will do Louisiana at a time when the state’s economy is in sore need of a boost.”

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