Today, Congresswoman Laura Richardson released the following statement in response to the U.S. Department of the Interior's six month moratorium on deepwater drilling in response to the oil spill disaster still unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico.
Beaches and shorelines are some of the most important assets communities located along the ocean have and keeping them clean and environmentally healthy is necessary to keep those communities strong. This moratorium is important in that it gives both the government and the industry a chance to step back and fully examine what went wrong, what needs to be fixed and how to move forward. This is a topic that hits especially close to home for the people of California's 37th Congressional District, where keeping our ocean and shorelines healthy is vital to the local economy and where the oil industry is a major employer for the families that live here. By following Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's lead, we will be able to develop a best practices guide to deepwater drilling so we can prevent future events like this from happening.
The Deepwater Horizon oil leak makes it clear that any new offshore drilling must employ the newest technologies and be subjected to diligent upkeep and careful oversight. President Obama has expressed his firm commitment to making certain that offshore oil and gas exploration is done in an environmentally sound way that protects our natural resources, as well as areas critical to commercial fisheries, tourism, and our national security.
Moreover, our nation faces an energy crisis that demands a comprehensive solution. The United States consumes 20 percent of the world's oil; the deposits off the coast of the United States represent less than 3 percent of the world's oil. We need to harness clean domestic energy sources such as wind and solar power, invest in biofuels, and make our cars more energy efficient. Our long term energy strategy should both move us away from carbon-based fuels and protect our cherished natural resources, especially the vital ecosystems in our nation's coastal regions.
This is why I voted in support of H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, which takes unprecedented steps to wean our nation off of its dependence on carbon-based fuels. H.R. 2454 will unleash private sector investments in domestic clean energy sources, create thousands of new jobs and end our reliance on foreign oil, much of which comes from countries that are hostile to U.S. interests.