Palazzo Announces Rigs to Reefs Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Steven Palazzo (R-MS), Assistant Republican Whip, said the following after the announcement of H.R. 3429, the Rigs to Reefs Habitat Protection Act, which will prevent rigs and other structures from being summarily removed from the Gulf of Mexico without proper assessment that coral and marine habitats would not be adversely affected.

“I am proud to introduce a bill that protects the fishing and aquatic life that embodies South Mississippi’s unique culture. Ask any saltwater fishermen and they’ll tell you that some of the best fishing in the Gulf is next to the oil and gas rigs offshore. This legislation aims to preserve the habitats that have adapted and grown around rigs and other offshore structures.

“When the rigs are removed, often the aquatic life is devastated. To keep our Gulf plentiful and our ecosystems intact, we need to ensure every precaution is taken. The bill presents no new cost to the private sector nor does it add any burden to the taxpayer. I also thank Congressman Steve Scalise (R-LA) for bringing attention to the issue during previous Congresses.”

Mississippi Department of Marine Resources Director Dr. Bill Walker had the following to say in support of H.R. 3429:

“The rigs to reef program is critically important to Mississippi and to all Gulf of Mexico states. The sea floor of the Gulf of Mexico is fairly featureless, with little structure, and the strategic placement of oil and gas platforms both attracts recreationally and commercially important fish species but also gives them the opportunity remain there and ‘raise a family.’ We very much appreciate efforts by Congressman Palazzo and his colleagues to provide these essential habitats.”

Palazzo Press Release