WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, DNR Secretary Scott Angelle and members of the Back to Work Coalition met with Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) Director Michael Bromwich and staff to continue the discussion of the obstacles affecting the issuance of new deepwater drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico. 

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

Today’s meeting was the group’s sixth meeting in the last five weeks.

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.  Through the establishment of 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.

“In the beginning of our efforts to bring about a return to drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, we committed to take the necessary actions and maintain a keen focus on the end goal of getting permits issued and thereby getting the men and women of the Gulf’s energy industry back to work.
“We’ve made several trips to our nation’s capitol and hosted multiple conference calls during the past months to work the ground game on this issue, meeting repeatedly with BOEMRE Director Bromwich and his staff.  Today, however, signaled a major breakthrough for the oil and gas industry and for the men and women who are waiting intently on an opportunity to get back to work finding the fuel that energizes America.
“Not only was the first deepwater drilling permit since the moratorium issued, but we learned that BOEMRE has added 41 wells to the original 16 identified on January 3 that may be able to resume previously approved drilling activity that was interrupted by the moratorium without the requirement for revised exploration or development plans for supplemental federal environmental review.
“There are now 57 wells that represent the 57 best opportunities to reinvigorate drilling activity and the economy of the energy industry in the Gulf of Mexico.  While the companies involved will be responsible for completing the application process, this is certainly a policy breakthrough.  This means economic stability, this means energy security, and this means jobs for the men and women of Louisiana who make up the heart and soul of the Gulf’s energy industry.
“Even though this good news, the Back to Work Coalition will not lose focus until drilling in the Gulf’s deep and shallow waters is steady, bringing with it a steady stream of economic activity and stability for Louisiana’s coast.”

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