U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) today highlighted the harmful economic impacts of the administration's offshore drilling moratorium in a Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship hearing.
"The decision to implement this moratorium in defiance of industry experts and the federal courts demonstrates the arrogance of this administration," said Wicker, a member of the Senate committee. "It is likely that the president's decision to suspend offshore drilling may cause more economic devastation than the spill itself."
Kimberly Nastasi, CEO of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce, testified before the committee to describe the economic impact that the drilling moratorium would have on Mississippi. Citing a Dun and Bradstreet preliminary Business Impact Analysis, Nastasi said that a total of 379 Mississippi businesses and nearly 3,000 employees would be impacted negatively by the moratorium.
"Offshore drilling is essential to creating jobs and strengthening our country's energy security," added Wicker. "The uncertainty caused by the president's irresponsible moratorium devastates businesses and threatens American jobs. At a time when unemployment is near double digits nationwide, the federal government should not be implementing policies that would send American jobs overseas."
Recently, Wicker joined Senators Vitter and Cornyn to introduce 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).