WASHINGTON, DC – House Natural Resources Committee Member Jeff Landry (LA-03) issued the following opening statement at today’s Full Committee Budget Oversight Hearing on
Examining the Spending Priorities and the Missions of the BOEMRE and the President’s FY2012 Budget Proposal:
“Thank you, Chairman Hastings, for calling this hearing today and for continuing a policy of responsible and meaningful oversight. I also thank the Chairman for inviting Director Bromwich to this hearing to answer tough, but fair questions regarding the policies of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE).
As I have said many times before, the tragic accident of April 20, 2010 killed 11 workers, generated one of the largest oil spills in U.S. History, and cannot be minimized. But while this disaster cannot be ignored, it can also not be employed as justification for halting domestic energy production in the Gulf of Mexico – as BOEMRE has done for the past year.
While all Americans are feeling the pain at the pump – my constituents are especially feeling the pain at the pump, at the dinner table, and everywhere. Debasing the entire offshore drilling industry is killing their jobs; my people simply want to get back to work.
The Gulf Coast residents and I anxiously wait for the day that Director Bromwich’s agency does not put out press releases on how many permits they approved. We just want permits approved swiftly and consistently.
I warned the Administration last year that they could not turn the oil and gas industry on and off like a light switch. Although BOERME has issued 7 permits, it is too little too late. The oil and gas industry cannot and is not waiting on BOEMRE to approve deepwater and shallow water permits; they are picking up and moving their operations overseas.
Despite civil unrest and general chaos in North Africa, one deepwater drilling rig is planning to move off the coast of Libya and three have already moved off the coast of Egypt. What does it tell you that when given a choice between civil war and the President’s energy policy, oil companies are choosing civil war?
So today, I will ask Mr. Bromwich to provide answers that the hard-working people along the Gulf Coast rightfully deserve.”