WASHINGTON — Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), along with Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), has introduced legislation that would lift the Obama administration’s offshore drilling and permitting moratorium for companies that have complied with the new safety and inspection requirements issued by the Department of the Interior (DOI).
“It is clear that the moratorium is nothing more than a guise to stopping domestic energy production,” said Wicker. “The administration is trying to sell the moratorium to the American people as a necessary step to ensure safety. The recently released government safety standards are sufficient to protect the environment and the public. This bill will help put people back to work who have been laid off by the administration as a result of its decision to suspend drilling.”
This bill would force DOI to speed up the permitting process and make definitive decisions on issuing permits once a company has complied with the new safety and inspection requirements. It would be enforced on a permit-by-permit basis, making the moratorium invalid for any operator that complies with Interior’s recently issued safety and inspection requirements and would force Interior to issue a decision 30 days after receiving a permit application.
U.S. Rep. Pete Olson of Texas is expected introduce an identical version of this bill in the House next week.