The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Jindal Files Brief Challenging the Drilling Moratorium

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted June 21, 2010

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal today filed an amicus brief supporting the suit challenging the administration's moratorium on deepwater drilling.

The brief argues the administration violated the law by failing to give the Gulf Coast states the opportunity to participate in the policy and decision-making process that led to the moratorium.

Further, the Governor's brief asserts there was no "rational reason" for the moratorium. "A drilling moratorium simply is not necessary to enforce the extensive rules and regulations already in place," the brief states.

In stating its case against the moratorium, the governor's office cites statistics that reflect the moratorium's dire impacts:

  • In "only five months the moratorium will result in the direct layoff of 3,339 Louisiana workers and the loss of an additional 7,656 jobs indirectly in the State" according to the Center for Energy Studies at Louisiana State University.
  • Rigs are beginning to leave the Gulf and are likely to make commitments at new locations in Brazil, Africa or the Middle East. Even after the moratorium ends, the Gulf might have "to wait an additional year or more for available rigs" to return, creating "a long-term economic disaster for Louisiana."

When the moratorium was announced on May 27, the president said it would last six months to give his Presidential Commission sufficient time to conduct a review of the Deepwater Horizon accident. However, the commission's first meeting won't occur until mid-July at the earliest, pushing its final report into next year.

The New York Times reports today that Co-Chair William K. Reilly says it's "unlikely that the panel would recommend the lifting of the six-month moratorium...before it completes its report."