February 17, 2011
Thursday marked a tremendous day of progress in our battle against President Obama’s de facto moratorium on deepwater oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Key developments came on three fronts:
1. Our organization announced a national campaign to demand President Obama stop destroying jobs and allow deepwater oil drilling to resume in the Gulf of Mexico. Our campaign, which will include advertisements, videos and public outreach, kicked off with an open letter to President Obama. If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to add your signature to the letter and leave a comment for the President.
2. A federal judge ordered the U.S. Interior Department to take action on permit applications for drilling in the Gulf. The ruling came just two weeks after the same judge held the Interior Department in contempt of court for holding up deepwater permits in the Gulf. Yes, it was déjà vu all over again, with the federal courts ordering the Obama Administration to obey the law and do its job (just as all Americans are expected to do).
3. The Marine Well Containment Company announced completion of an initial spill containment system that will provide rapid response capabilities in the event of an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
As a number of bloggers have noted (here and here), the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has indicated that the lack of such a system was holding up deepwater drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico. Now that the system exists and has been successfully tested, industry groups are hopeful that the agency will soon issue long-awaited permits to drill.
Companies have been sidelined long enough. By the Obama Administration’s own criteria—not to mention a federal judge’s order—the de facto moratorium should end now. We’re ready to get back to work.
President and CEO, Offshore Marine Service Association