(Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON – United States Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., today responded to the news that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) has approved the first deepwater exploratory permit since the Obama Administration’s drilling moratorium was lifted.

Sen. Mary Landrieu said:
 “This is the first exploration permit approved since the administration’s drilling moratorium was lifted five months ago. While this is another step in the right direction toward getting our Gulf Coast back to work, this administration is still moving too slowly to get this industry back up and working at full speed.  We will know that the oil and gas industry has once again found solid footing when we have reached a point where approvals for exploratory permits, or permits of any kind, are not considered newsworthy.
“This administration keeps saying that oil production in the U.S. is the highest it has ever been, but what this administration is not telling the American people is that by next year, production in the OCS will decrease by 250,000 barrels of oil a day and, in 2012, production will be down by 500,000 barrels a day.  Before the Macondo accident, EIA expected production to increase in those years.  So, this administration’s policies are actually taking us backwards, to the lowest levels of OCS production since 1997.  Cleary, the president has not been painting the full picture on U.S. oil and gas production.”
This is the first deepwater exploratory permit to be approved and there are currently 13 pending. To date, there has been one shallow water exploratory permit approved with 10 pending permits. Additionally, there have been three deepwater drilling permits approved with 21 pending, and 38 shallow water wells have been approved with 16 pending approval.