(Photo of Scott Angelle, left, by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

BATON ROUGE

– Today, LA Department of Natural Resources Secretary Scott Angelle commented on the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement’s (BOEMRE) approval of the first Exploration Plan (EP) since the Deepwater Horizon explosion and subsequent oil spill.  The plan, submitted by Shell Offshore Inc., is the first to comply with the new site-specific Environmental Assessment (SEA) implemented in August 2010.  An approved EP is the next step toward the approval of applications for permits to drill. 

 

As the state’s liaison between the offshore oil and gas industry and the federal government, Angelle is leading the effort to bring a return to responsible exploration and the job and economic stability that come with it.  Under Governor Jindal’s direction, he established the Back to Work Coalition, a group of industry representatives facilitated by the Gulf Economic Survival Team (GEST).  Angelle has presented a unified voice to Director Bromwich and BOEMRE officials in order to create a clearer roadmap for resumption of normal Gulf exploration operations. 
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"The Back to Work Coalition has made it a priority to travel to the nation’s capital 6 times in the last 9 weeks in an effort to cut through red tape. We will continue our efforts until the men and women of the Gulf of Mexico are back to work and we are once again helping to provide the fuel to energize America and lower gasoline prices for consumers.
 
“We saw a policy breakthrough on February 28, when the first permit was issued in compliance with the new containment standards.  Today, we see a similar breakthrough in that the first plan that meets the new environmental assessment standards has been approved, which should pave the way for future permits and for the Gulf’s energy industry to get back to work.
 
“However, as I said in my testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources last week, the industry will continue to look forward to the day when the approval of an exploration plan or the issuance of a drilling permit will no longer be considered rare and newsworthy in America.”