Obama's Oil Drill Ban Crippling Gulf Economy

A Republican House candidate is calling on President Obama to lift the administration’s six-month moratorium on 33 deepwater rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, saying it will affect thousands of jobs. 

Jeff Landry, running in the GOP primary for Louisiana’s 3rd Congressional District seat, told HUMAN EVENTS that he’s getting feedback from people involved in the local oil industry that the President’s ban, issued a week ago, is hurting their business. And a shipbuilder told him that he had a $20 million order canceled for three boats. 

The Associated Press reported Thursday that it obtained an email from the Minerals Management Services’ Gulf Coast offices that said the offshore drilling moratorium now includes new shallow-water drilling in the Gulf. A spokesperson for Interior Secretary Ken Salazar denied the claim.
Landry said increasing the moratorium’s scope to shallow-water drilling will have dire consequences. 

“If they would do that, then it would basically be like pulling Louisiana and Texas’ economy off of life support,” Landry said. “When he takes the … Outer Continental Shelf drilling away from us, he cripples our economy. If he increases the moratorium, he pulls the plug on our life support.”

Landry said the economy in the 3rd district, much of which is on Louisiana’s shoreline, relies on four things: agriculture, the commercial fishing industry, the oil and gas industry, and tourism.

Landry said the spill has already taken out the tourism and commercial fishing industries. Now, Landry said, the President is knocking out the third support of the district’s economy. The moratorium affects 33 rigs, and according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, it could affect 3,000 to 6,000 jobs in the short term, with that number likely to increase.

“This is typical of Washington and its bureaucracy… everything’s a knee-jerk reaction,” Landry said. “The President doesn’t know the difference between a water well to an oil well.”

Landry’s campaign asked Obama to rescind his moratorium on deep-water drilling in a statement today.

“I was trying to see if the President would come to his senses,” Landry said.