WASHINGTON – Exactly one year ago, a six-month moratorium ended on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, but too little drilling is still taking place, Republican Rep. Doc Hastings said today.
Hastings called a hearing of the House Natural Resources Committee to examine “the lingering impact on jobs, energy production and local economies” after the Obama administration lifted the moratorium on Oct. 12, 2010.
For the Washington state Republican, the committee’s chairman since January, it presented yet another opportunity to make his case that the U.S. must do more to increase energy production.
The moratorium was imposed in response to the deadly BP spill that devastated the Gulf region last year.
“This official moratorium, unfortunately, was followed by a de facto moratorium that still did not allow businesses and their employees to return to work until the first permits were issued in February of this year,” Hastings told committee members this morning.
“The Obama administration’s inability, or refusal, to issue permits in a timely and efficient manner after the official moratorium was lifted resulted in lost jobs and significant economic pain. “
Hastings said that 11 deepwater rigs have left the Gulf of Mexico, heading to places such as Egypt and Brazil.
“Every time one of these rigs leaves, it takes away good-paying American jobs,” Hastings said.