In a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner, R-Alabama, is demanding the federal government immediately stop an oil rig removal policy that is reportedly killing large numbers of Gulf Red Snapper.
On Thursday, WPMI TV 15 in Mobile reported the Interior Department's 'Idle Iron' policy, aimed at clearing abandoned oil rigs from the Gulf of Mexico, is actually destroying more than just left over drilling platforms. According to an undercover video, the government is using explosives to remove the obsolete rigs, creating tremendous devastation to Red Snapper populations inhabiting these artificial reefs.
In a letter also signed by Mississippi Gulf Coast Representative Steven Palazzo, Rep. Bonner calls for immediate action to safeguard Gulf Red Snapper and other Marine life endangered by the federal government's misguided rig removal program.
The letter reads in part: "At the same time one federal agency is restricting fishing for the preeminent target fish species in the Gulf, another -- yours -- is literally killing thousands of pounds of fish and destroying the habitat on which they rely. Certainly, Mr. Secretary, you see the hypocrisy here. These fish are the economic life-blood for thousands of our constituents along the Gulf of Mexico, and this insanity must stop -- immediately."
"Mr. Secretary, for these reasons, and in the strongest possible terms, we request an immediate cessation to any planned removals in the Gulf of Mexico under the auspices of "Idle Iron." We appreciate your attention and look forward to your quick response."
A copy of their letter to Secretary Salazar is linked here: