Congressman John Fleming, M.D. (LA-4) released a statement today in response to remarks by President Obama's Interior Secretary. The House Natural Resources Committee, of which Rep. Fleming is a member, issued a subpoena today seeking documents related to a report issued by the administration in 2010. The report erroneously suggested that a panel of outside engineers supported a moratorium on deepwater drilling. Those engineers said they actually opposed the moratorium. In responding to the subpoena, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said today, "So, you know, it's that time of season in Washington, D.C., where congressional committees will spend their time going after issues that are not of significant importance So from my point of view, what the House Natural Resources and energy committee is doing is simply a distraction in the name of politics." Congressman Fleming's response follows:
"Secretary Salazar's comments demonstrate the clueless arrogance of the Obama Administration. The drilling moratorium that was imposed in 2010 wiped out jobs in the energy sector and among Louisianasmall businesses that support the energy industry. In addition, our domestic energy production from deepwater drilling was halted by the Obama policy, leaving repercussions that impact energy prices still today. While the Secretary wants to dismiss this investigation, the fact is the administration imposed its moratorium after issuing a report in which false information was inserted. The American people deserve to know who in the administration authorized this.
"The actions, and now the words of the Obama Administration have made it clear that the White House has little concern for the jobs of the hard-working people in our nation's oil and gas industry. For Secretary Salazar and his boss, President Obama, this matter may be "simply a distraction,' and "not of significant importance,' but the people of Louisiana would beg to differ and still want answers."
Dr. John Fleming is Chairman of the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs and is a member of the House Armed Services Committee. He is a physician and small business owner and represents the 4th Congressional District of Louisiana.