Congressman Blake Farenthold (TX-27) released the following statement after sending a letter to the Department of the Interior, urging Secretary Salazar to reconsider an October 2010 directive that calls for the removal of all non-producing oil rigs from the Gulf of Mexico:
"From unique coral to recreational diving and fishing, South Texans benefit from the natural fish habitats flourishing around Gulf Coast oil rigs. These reefs are part of our culture as our schools incorporate the study of artificial reefs into their curriculum and the Texas State Aquarium's Islands of Steel exhibit gives visitors an up close look at these valuable habitats.
"Offshore rigs, safely plugged well below the ocean floor, are now being pulled up left and right by the Department of Interior, with no planning, destroying valuable ecosystems. I urge DOI to reconsider this directive and the damaging economic and environmental impact it has on Gulf Coast communities desperate to preserve these precious environments."