Congressman Pete Olson

Representing the 22nd District of Texas

Olson Applauds Judge Ruling On Offshore Drilling Moratorium

June 22, 2010
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC– Rep. Pete Olson (R-Sugar Land) today issued the following statement on U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman’s ruling in opposition to the Obama Administration offshore deep water drilling moratorium:

“I applaud Judge Feldman’s decision to lift the moratorium on deep water offshore drilling.  It was the right course of action for the livelihood of the 150,000 rig and drilling support workers in the Gulf Coast.  One horrible accident is not justification to further cripple an economy already suffering from the Deepwater Horizon spill.  The economic impact of the President’s moratorium could well be worse than the BP spill. If the moratorium is not ended, those jobs head overseas and Americans pay more for fuel. That is why I introduced legislation to lift the moratorium and put these folks back to work.

“Rig safety is important and I support increased inspections and better use of industry best practices to ensure nothing like this ever happens again.  When considering the moratorium, the Obama Administration disregarded National Academy of Engineers advisors who told them a six month moratorium was not necessary to address safety concerns.  Hopefully now, the good people of the Gulf Coast can get back to work for their families and this nation.”

Key passage from Judge Feldman’s ruling:

“The Deepwater Horizon oil spill is an unprecedented, sad, ugly and inhuman disaster.  What seems clear is that the federal government has been pressed by what happened on the Deepwater Horizon into an otherwise sweeping confirmation that all Gulf deepwater drilling activities put us all in a universal threat of irreparable harm.  While the implementation of regulations and a new culture of safety are supportable by the Report and the documents presented, the blanket moratorium, with no parameters, seems to assume that because one rig failed and although no one yet fully knows why, all companies and rigs drilling new wells over 500 feet also universally present an imminent danger. (Emphasis added)

“On the record now before the Court, the defendants have failed to cogently reflect the decision to issue a blanket, generic, indeed punitive, moratorium (Emphasis added) with the facts developed during the thirty-day review.  The plaintiffs have established a likelihood of successfully showing that the Administration acted arbitrarily and capriciously in issuing the moratorium.”

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Media Contact: Melissa Kelly - 202-225-5951