September 15, 2015

ICYMI: Cassidy, Vitter Testify at New Orleans Energy Hearing

METAIRIE –  U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. and David Vitter joined U.S. Representatives Garret Graves and John Fleming at a U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources Hearing: The Impacts of Federal Policies on Energy Production and Economic Growth in the Gulf in New Orleans.

See excerpts from Dr. Cassidy’s and Senator Vitter’s remarks below:

Dr. Cassidy:

“…Domestic energy production is critical for our country’s energy independence and security. Every barrel of oil and every cubic foot of natural gas produced in the Gulf of Mexico eliminates the need for energy from foreign sources. Unfortunately, the actions and policies of this administration are counter-productive.

“A few weeks ago, President Obama visited New Orleans to commemorate the region’s rebirth on the 10thanniversary of Hurricanes Katrina & Rita. Yet, the sustainability of Louisiana’s recovery was placed in jeopardy by the President’s FY16 budget proposal. His budget proposed to redirect revenue derived from energy produced off of Louisiana’s coast toward unrelated projects…

“…This is important to Louisiana and to the rest of the nation. Close to 18 percent of U.S. oil production and about 24 percent of U.S. natural gas production originates, is transported through, or is processed in Louisiana’s coastal wetlands

“Under this administration, less than 2% of the 1.71 billion federal OCS acreage is under lease. Over 63 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico, alone, remains locked up. This lost opportunity results in fewer jobs, less government revenue, and a greater reliance on foreign sources of oil…

“In response to this problematic regulatory climate, I, along with Senator Vitter, drafted a bill that became Title 1 of the OPENS Act – legislation that was reported out of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee last month. As one could tell from its title, the OPENS Act opens up acreage for energy production offshore…

“The Obama Administration’s lackluster offshore drilling plan and proposed regulations could erode away the economic viability of future well production in the Gulf of Mexico. We must provide a regulatory climate to produce offshore in a safe, economical manner, while allowing access to the largest undiscovered, technically recoverable oil and gas resources on federal lands offshore in the Gulf of Mexico.  It is critical that production continues to grow in the Gulf of Mexico in order to protect and sustain our American energy independence and to help create good jobs with good benefits, of which there are too few of in today’s economy.”

Read the full statement HERE.

Senator Vitter:

“It has been nearly five and a half years since the Deepwater Horizon disaster devastated the Gulf Region. Beyond the economic and environmental consequences, the most disheartening result of the incident was the loss of eleven men who were working on the rig.

“For three months, more than 200 million gallons of crude oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico resulting in billions of dollars of economic and environmental damages from which the Gulf region is still recovering. Perhaps more damaging than the spill, was the Obama Administration’s shortsighted and kneejerk reaction in which they imposed a six month drilling moratorium and, after that, a de-facto moratorium or “permitorium” that only compounded the devastation of the spill. In the years since, I’ve worked to ensure this kind of tragedy and subsequent economic losses never happen again. As a state and a nation, we need a strong regulatory scheme that promotes stringent safety standards while also allowing industry to thrive. While many important reforms have been made, there is still a lot of work to be done. 

“Ensuring high safety standards is always a priority. That is not of question here. What we must also understand is the economic impacts of the Obama Administration’s far-left environmental policies. It’s not about how they will affect big business or the associated negligible environmental impact. It’s about how Louisianians and small businesses – who can also claim success alongside the Gulf Coast energy industry – will be able to continue providing for their families and growing our local economy. Protecting the health of the oil and gas industry is a critical step in ensuring a vibrant economy in Louisiana and the Gulf Coast.”

Read the full statement HERE.