Palazzo wants offshore rig demolitions halted

Citing concerns for Gulf fish species, U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-4, and U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner, R-Ala., want the federal government to halt a policy that requires hundreds of inactive oil rigs to be demolished. The two representatives call the program “insanity.”

The congressmen say the policy is killing tens of thousands of pounds of fish, mainly red snapper, and jeopardizing habitats, which have been created by rigs found throughout the Gulf. Palazzo and Bonner wrote a letter to U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar Friday asking him to

halt the program. They want further study of how to handle the issue without harming the ecosystems formed around the rigs.

The letter resulted after WPMI-TV in Mobile did a story last week showing an undercover video of a rig demolition that reportedly happened as part of the Interior department’s “Idle Iron” policy. The video shows an estimated 10,000 pounds of dead fish, mostly snapper, floating to the surface after the blast.

Sun Herald