Palazzo: The De-Facto Drilling Moratorium is Destroying Our Economy

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Steven Palazzo (MS-04) continued to draw attention to strengthening Mississippi’s economy by delivering the following remarks on the House floor today:

“Last week, written across America’s newspapers were headlines of how Egyptians stood up to what they viewed as a restrictive and arbitrary government.

“Perhaps those protests should serve as a wakeup call for us – if for no other reason than for where they took place. You see, just east of Cairo is the Suez Canal and SuMed pipeline, which combined carry nearly five million barrels of oil a day to countries around the world. Egypt’s future remains uncertain and because of the restrictive and arbitrary anti-drilling policies imposed by President Obama, so does the future for thousands of families in South Mississippi. By refusing to issue new drilling permits, this administration continues to impose a de-facto moratorium on U.S.-based companies, which is having a devastating effect on Gulf Coast families.

“Having worked on an offshore platform, I know firsthand the impact those jobs have on a local economy. Without drilling in the Gulf, many small businesses will suffer as more jobs are lost and the effect of those lost wages trickle throughout the economy.

“You don’t ground the entire airline industry when there’s an airplane crash. Now is the time for this Administration to do what’s right for the American people by allowing further off-shore exploration and reducing our reliance on foreign sources of oil.”

On Monday, Congressman Palazzo met with Kenneth Feinberg, administrator of the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, in a one-on-one meeting. After the meeting, the Congressman issued the following statement:

“As the time for public comment regarding payment eligibility draws to a close, I sat down with Mr. Feinberg to make sure the concerns of small businesses and individuals impacted by this man-made disaster are properly heard and taken seriously,” Palazzo said.

“What has happened to our seafood and tourism industry and economy in general as a result of the oil spill is a frustration we all feel. I will not be satisfied until everyone impacted by this disaster has received fair and prompt consideration for the damages they have incurred. Today’s meeting was part of that effort. BP has said they will make this right and I will continue to remind them of that pledge.”