Olson Introduces New Bill to Lift Offshore Drilling Moratorium
WASHINGTON, DCâ€“ Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) last night introduced legislation that would lift the Obama Administrationâ€™s latest offshore drilling and permitting moratorium and allow rigs that have complied with new Interior Department safety and inspection requirements to resume production.
â€œThe Administrationâ€™s revised moratorium is more of the same. It continues to disregard the economic impact of this ban,â€ Rep. Olson said. â€œThe federal courts already rejected the previous moratorium because there was no safety basis for a ban and this one should be overturned as well. Two oil rigs have already departed for Egypt and West Africa, taking good U.S. jobs with them. We cannot afford to send more jobs overseas. We need to use common sense to craft an approach that will ensure and uphold the highest safety standards without crippling an entire industry and increasing our dependence on foreign oil. â€
This legislation would force the Department of Interior to speed up the permitting process and make definitive decisions on issuing permits once a company has complied with the new safety and inspection requirements. It would be enforced on a permit-by-permit basis, making the moratorium invalid for any operator that complies with Interiorâ€™s recently issued safety and inspection requirements, and would force Interior to issue a decision 30 days after receiving a permit application.
The legislation, H.R. 5772, is a companion measure to legislation introduced by Senators David Vitter (R-LA) and Roger Wicker (R-MS).
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