Job-Killing Offshore Moratorium Continues to Bring Uncertainty, Financial Burden on the U.S.

HOUSTON Earlier today, Interior Sec. Ken Salazar announced two new rules aimed at addressing concerns over safety and equipment standards for offshore oil and gas operations, particularly in the Gulf of Mexico.  While these additional regulations came as no surprise to the industry since they largely mirror what was put forth in the Secretary’s May 27th Safety Report, expectations for an early lift of the deepwater offshore moratorium have been stifled by the Interior Department’s decision to continue with the ban.

 Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) president David Holt issued the following statement in response to these developments:

 “The American public expected to hear from the Obama Administration today a message of hope for an economic recovery in the wake of the April 20th incident in the Gulf of Mexico.  Instead, the timeline for this job-killing moratorium is blurred more than ever, as it creates tremendous uncertainty for American consumers and those hardworking individuals whose livelihoods are tied to offshore energy activity.

 “While the energy industry has made it clear it is ready to work with the Administration to increase safety and environmental protection, the additional regulations that were announced today will only prolong the financial burden that has been placed on communities across the United States. Did we forget that the U.S. energy sector is one of the principle drivers for our economy? Almost every sector – farming, restaurants, transportation, small business – must use oil and natural gas. 

 “The Gulf Coast will feel the effects of this decision more than anyone, and may become subject to the same situation that has been developing in Alaska for years – the cultivation of a ‘no-man’s land’ for domestic energy resources.  American companies have made significant investments in both Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico, but continual regulations and stalled projects will only send those dollars away, along with good-paying, home-grown jobs that so many have relied on until now.

 “Americans deserve sound and thoughtful energy policy that keeps our nation’s interests – and economic well-being – in mind.  Let’s get the country moving again, create jobs, spur economic growth and reduce our monumental debt!”