One of the many questions Heritage’s team in the Gulf asked locals when they visited last week was how they thought the President’s drilling moratorium would affect them.
We have highlighted some of the many concerns they shared in a new video. They were roundly critical of the composition of the President’s oil spill commission and the devastating effects they expect to see from his drilling moratorium.
As Ted Falgout, Former Director of Port Fourchon, says in the video, “We’re going to start losing rigs quickly and they may not be back for several years.”
In fact, Falgout’s predictions have already begun to come true. Reports came this week that oil rigs currently in the Gulf of Mexico would be moved to Egyptian waters and to the Republic of Congo. But as a new Heritage paper explains, this does not have to be. As repeated court decisions have confirmed, the President’s bans were an overreaction. We need to clean up this spill and move beyond it in a way that does not ignore what happened but instead addresses in a proactive, rational way. As Heritage’s Ben Lieberman explains:
The Deepwater Horizon spill is the first significant spill from a well in American waters since 1969. In the meantime, offshore oil production has become a significant source of domestic energy and jobs. Fully a third of American oil comes from offshore, and the potential for additional growth is great. The U.S. can and should respond to the spill but in ways that do not jeopardize the benefits of tapping America’s offshore energy.
The Deepwater Horizon spill is already a tragedy—for the 11 workers killed, for the fisherman and others who have lost their jobs, and for the damaged environment of the Gulf. Washington should not compound the tragedy by imposing an unnecessary and costly offshore ban.
Read more from our ’Live from the Gulf ’ blog series here, as well as research on the oil spill here, brought to you by our team of energy, environment, homeland security and response experts on the ground.