Drilling moratorium officially lifted

Drilling moratorium officially lifted

POSTED: Tuesday, October 12, 2010 - 12:17pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, October 12, 2010 - 1:41pm

WASHINGTON (WVLA) – The deep water oil drilling moratorium was officially lifted today, Tuesday, Oct. 12, by the Obama administration.

“We have worked vigorously over the past four months urging our federal government to lift this prolonged, senseless and unnecessary deepwater moratorium, as well as the shallow water ‘de facto’ moratorium that we currently face,” Lieutenant Governor Scott Angelle said in a press release today. “While today’s announcement lifting the moratorium is welcome news, we fully realize that we have only crossed the 50-yard line with regard to getting our men and women back to work fueling America.”

Although the six-month ban has been revoked, officials say it is unlikely drilling will resume immediately. New safety regulations to prevent another catastrophe like the BP oil spill will make it more difficult to obtain permits.

“Just as has happened for shallow water operations, new deepwater rules from the Dept. of Interior will no doubt result in permitting delays that will also inhibit our economic recovery from the actual moratorium,” Angelle added. “Therefore, GEST will continue to push the ball further down the field by working to eliminate the bottlenecks that are hindering the shallow water drilling permitting process and, we predict, the new deepwater permitting process as well…We press forward with renewed vigor because we appreciate the urgency required to get us back to work fueling America.”

NBC33 News will have more on this story at 5 p.m.

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