Obama’s policies on offshore development undermine safety, says Natural Resources Committee Chairman

The U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources on Tuesday held an oversight hearing in New Orleans, LA, on the current state of offshore oil and gas activity in the Gulf of Mexico.

The panel received testimony from U.S. Senators David Vitter (R-LA) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA), industry representatives, and the U.S. Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE).

The hearing focused on the impact of federal policies on energy development in the Gulf, including DOI’s proposed well control rule, and what actions can be taken to promote the responsible development of outer Continental Shelf (OCS) resources.

“Federal regulations such as the proposed well-control threaten another moratorium by shutting down the majority of the Gulf rig fleet. Some provisions of this rule could actually undermine safety, rather than enhance it,” stated Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT).

“Other federal measures, such as the crude export ban, limit new market opportunities and U.S. production potential. We should encourage the production of affordable energy, not continue decades-old policies that force companies to shut-in those resources because they are not economic to bring to market.”

“This administration’s energy policy appears to have two objectives: cause Louisianans to lose their jobs and continue our dependence on foreign oil,” stated Rep. Garrett Graves (R-LA).

“We have already been through the moratorium and permitorium where the federal government shutdown the Gulf of Mexico’s energy fields. These new illogical regulations on the offshore industry – conceived in a vacuum with insufficient stakeholder input – will not ensure safe exploration and production operations, but they will result in less production, more supply boats tied up and more people losing their energy jobs.”

“The Obama Administration was held in contempt of court over its previous moratorium in the Gulf, so now President Obama is seeking through regulation to create a new moratorium by making it prohibitively expensive to drill in the Gulf,” stated Water, Power and Oceans Subcommittee Chairman John Fleming (R-LA).

“I’m glad the BSEE will finally be sitting down with industry experts, but it’s a shame they didn’t do that from the start.”

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