[Guest post by DRJ]
In a letter sent Friday, a bipartisan group of Alaskan and Gulf Coast Senators urged President Obama to lift his ban on offshore drilling permits for shallow-water wells:
“Senators from Alaska and four states bordering the Gulf of Mexico are urging the White House to lift its moratorium on new oil drilling permits for rigs placed in shallow water.
In a letter sent Friday to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and President Obama, the delegation said $135 million stands to be lost in oil revenue should the ban continue to include 57 shallow-water drilling platforms.
“We are advised that if the moratorium is not soon lifted for these shallow-water operations, as many as 50 of those rigs within the next six weeks will be unable to work and at least 5,000 jobs from the rigs alone will be lost in the Gulf Coast region,” the letter stated.
The Obama administration banned the issuing of all new drilling permits in the aftermath of the massive oil spill that is still gushing into the Gulf of Mexico after a BP-leased rig exploded April 20 80 miles from Louisiana’s coast.”
These aren’t easy decisions but oil and gas production is a main element of Louisiana’s economy. Given the current recession and high unemployment, it’s small wonder that the Louisiana and other Gulf Coast Senators are concerned about Obama’s ban on drilling.