Mr. PALAZZO. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to once again urge the administration to issue drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico in a more timely and efficient manner.
As demonstrated at today's Natural Resources hearing, there is a critical need to correct the regulatory backlog. The long-term effects of the moratorium and subsequent regulatory slowdown will lead to decreased development levels in the Gulf of Mexico, which will reduce oil and gas production levels and associated employment and economic activity in the gulf South's economy. Recent reports show that up to 20 deepwater drilling rigs could leave the Gulf of Mexico due to the slow, uncertain pace of the permit process. Continued regulatory uncertainty will only exacerbate this trend as operators reallocate resources to other major offshore provinces.
President Obama has said over and over that jobs and the economy are the administration's number one priority.
Mr. President, the Gulf of Mexico sits ready to work. Let's put her to work for America.