Letter to Barack Obama, President of the United States - End the De Facto Moratorium and Issue Offshore Drilling Permits

Amid news that Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC) has completed the initial well containment system, Congressman Jeff Landry (Republican, New Iberia) lead 50 fellow GOP House members in sending a letter to President Obama calling on him to end the de facto moratorium and issue offshore drilling permits.

The letter outlines the timeline and the accomplishments of MWCC and calls on the President to put the oil and gas industry back to work.

"Considering these facts, we respectfully request that you end your de facto moratorium and return to approving the full slate of permit applicants that have been submitted and allow this industry to return to work," Landry and his colleagues wrote to Obama.

Landry, the House's leading proponent of domestic oil and gas drilling, is hopeful the letter impacts the President's decision-making process: "For months, the hard-working people of South Louisiana have been begging the President to allow them back to work. I have heard them, and I hope -- with the support of so many House members -- the President hears them too," said Landry. "It is high time for BOEMRE to stop changing the rules in the middle of the game."

The full text of Congressman Landry's letter is below:

February 18, 2011

The Honorable Barack H. Obama
President of the United States of America
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear President Obama:

In light of this week's announcement that Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC) has completed the initial well containment system, we again request an end to the de facto moratorium and a return to the timely and responsible issuance of offshore drilling permits.

This announcement by MWCC is welcome news for countless families in the Gulf region who so heavily rely on energy production for their livelihoods, many of who have been out of work since the Macondo tragedy. On January 25, 2011 the Department of Interior again refused to lift the de facto moratorium, preventing these men and women from returning to work because energy companies had not shown a capability to respond to a massive oil spill.

The MWCC's work on improving underwater well control capabilities in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico is demonstrative of the industry's commitment to abide by the Administration's instructions to return to safely and responsibly utilizing our domestic energy resources. Moreover, the MWCC is committed to rolling out additional system components to further expand these initial capabilities next year.

It is our understanding that the MWCC has held multiple meetings with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) to ensure the initial system and follow-on technologies meet and exceed every requirement set by BOEMRE. Again, these meetings are proof that the industry is doing everything it can to quickly and efficiently meet your requirements.

Considering these facts, we respectfully request that you end your de facto moratorium and return to approving the full slate of permit applicants that have been submitted and allow this industry to return to work.

We thank you for your time and attention to this matter and look forward to your timely response.

Respectfully,

Jeff Landry (LA-03), Don Young (AK-AL), Mike Simpson (ID-02), Joe Walsh (IL-08), Rob Bishop (UT-01), John Sullivan (OK-01), Lynn A. Westmoreland (GA-03), Brett Guthrie (KY-02), Billy Long (MO-07), Joe Barton (TX-06), Francisco "Quico" Canseco (TX- 23), Cory Gardner (CO-04), Elton Gallegly (CA-24), Darrell E. Issa (CA-49), Marlin Stutzman (IN-03), Stephen Fincher (TN-08), Austin Scott (GA-08), Rick Crawford (AR-01), Kevin Yoder (KS-3), Joe Heck (NV-03), Mick Mulvaney (SC-05), Bob Gibbs (OH-18), Kristi Noem (SD-AL), Ralph M. Hall (TX-04), Cynthia Lummis (WY-AL), Steve Stivers (OH-15), John C. Fleming (LA-04), Renee Ellmers (NC-02), Diane Black (TN-06), Steve Scalise (LA-01), Ann Marie Buerkle (NY-25), Trent Franks (AZ-02), Mike Kelly (PA-03), Jean Schmidt (OH-02), Sam Graves (MO-6), Steven Palazzo (MS-04), Charles W. Boustany, Jr. (LA-07), Bill Cassidy (LA-06), Rodney Alexander (LA-05), Alan Nunnelee (MS-01), Bill Shuster (PA-09), Reid Ribble (WI-08), Chuck Fleischmann (TN-03), Tim Scott (SC-01), Bill Huizenga (MI-02), Donald A. Manzullo (IL-16), Louie Gohmert (TX-01), Sean Duffy (WI-07), Trey Gowdy (SC-04), Bill Flores (TX-17), and Tim Griffin (AR-02).

The initial well containment system will provide rapid containment response capabilities in the event of a future underwater well control incident in the deepwater of the Gulf of Mexico.