The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Moratorium Lifted but Concerns Remain about De Facto Ban

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 12, 2010

Editor's Note: The American Petroleum Institute (API), while pleased that the moratorium has been lifted, expressed concern today that a de facto moratorium could be created by delays in the processing and approval of permits, which will reduce production, government revenues and American jobs, according to a statement by API President and CEO Jack Gerard:

"While we are pleased that the Interior Department has lifted the deepwater moratorium, even more needs to be done to get American workers back on the job of exploring for, developing and producing the oil and natural gas to fuel our nation's economy.

"Without additional resources and a serious commitment by the government to process and approve permits and other requirements expeditiously, the moratorium will give way to a de facto moratorium, which will continue to cripple the already hard-hit Gulf region and cost more than 175,000 American jobs a year.

"The oil and natural gas industry is committed to safe and environmentally responsible operations. Both the industry and regulators have added safeguards to ensure responsible operations. Regulators need to quickly put in place a system that allows companies that show their compliance with new standards to resume operations immediately. Americans want and deserve improvements in offshore safety and this can be accomplished without putting thousands of people out of work and increasing the nation's reliance on foreign sources of energy."

Update on October 13, 2010: A number of media outlets today are reporting that yesterday's lifting of the moratorium will do little to jumpstart Gulf drilling. Read a Reuters and OpenMarket.org article to learn more.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.