Jindal makes statement on moratorium reversal

The following is from the Office of the Governor of Louisiana:

BATON ROUGE – Today, Governor Jindal released the following statement on the Administration's announcement that they would begin to undo their shut down of deepwater drilling operations:

"The Administration is certainly long overdue in undoing their 'arbitrary and capricious' deepwater drilling moratorium. We are glad they are beginning to reverse this job-killing policy.

"While this is good news, if there is one thing we have learned from this Administration it is that the devil is always in the details. For example, while there is no official moratorium on shallow water drilling operations, severe bottlenecks in the federal permit review process have resulted in a de facto moratorium for shallow water drilling. Indeed, since the beginning of June, only 12 new permits have been issued for new shallow water wells, compared to the pre-deepwater-moratorium average of 10 to 14 shallow water permits issued a month.

"We do not want to see the same de facto moratorium on deepwater drilling operations. We will need to see how new regulations on deepwater drilling are implemented to see if permits are issued in a timely manner. Moreover, our oil and gas industry – like any business – needs predictability from government in order to succeed and create more jobs for our people."

Thirty-three percent of the nation's domestic oil comes from the Gulf of Mexico. Eighty percent of the Gulf's oil and 45 percent of its natural gas comes from operations in more than 1,000 feet of water, considered "deepwater." Port Fourchon in Lafourche Parish services 90 percent of deepwater operations in the Gulf of Mexico. At any given time, 5,000 employees are hard at work servicing the oil and gas industry at the port and 15,000 offshore workers fly in and out of the port each month. Each drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico employs 180-280 workers. Each drilling rig job supports four other jobs in the community.

A group called the Gulf Economic Survival Team, created by Lieutenant Governor Scott Angelle, collected a total of more than 175,000 signatures calling on Washington to put an end to the deepwater drilling moratorium that threatened thousands of Louisiana jobs and a federal judge ruled to be "arbitrary and capricious."