During a meeting at the White House with House Republicans, Congressman Steve Scalise today asked President Barack Obama to resolve the lack of clarity in the approval process for offshore drilling permits and exploration plans. The President responded that he and his Director of the National Economic Council would work with Scalise to address the problem. Scalise has consistently advocated for the administration to remove roadblocks in the permitting process since the President imposed a moratorium on deepwater drilling.
"After our entire Congressional delegation has pressed for a meeting with President Obama for nearly a year, I was glad to finally have the opportunity to ask the President directly to improve the permitting process so people can get back to work drilling safely in the Gulf of Mexico," Scalise said. "The facts speak for themselves - more than 13,000 jobs have been lost throughout the region and 12 offshore rigs have left our waters to drill in foreign countries as a result of this administration's policies. I emphasized to the President the need to lay out a clear path that lets our people get back to work exploring safely for energy in America, and pointed out the roadblocks that have been placed by the Department of Interior and other federal agencies. The President committed to work with me to address problems in the permitting process. I will immediately follow up with the President and his Director of the National Economic Council to give him the opportunity to fulfill his pledge and in return we can create thousands more high-paying American jobs, and strengthen our country's energy security."
For nearly a year, Scalise has joined with the entire Louisiana Congressional delegation in asking to meet with the President to discuss the deepwater drilling moratorium, the ongoing permitorium, in both shallow and deepwater, and domestic energy production, but this is the first time the President has personally met with Scalise on the issue.