Palazzo, who was the guest of the Laurel Kiwanis Club, said the Mississippi Gulf Coast “has come a long way, but still has a long way to go in the economy and the environment.”
Palazzo called the event a “sad day” which resulted in the loss of 11 lives, men who were to provide for the energy needs of the region as well as their families’ livelihoods.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with their families,” he said.
Palazzo said the moratorium on offshore drilling, which was issued shortly after the explosion, has since resulted in the loss of 12,000 jobs and $500 million in wages out of the economy.
Palazzo said President Obama has been “way too slow” in issuing drilling permits, instead opting to send $2 billion and drilling equipment to Brazil.
“But, they’re not sending the men who need the jobs,” he said.
Palazzo said Obama should expedite the permitting process, adding 12,000 people would be back to work within 30 days of doing so.
“(Allowing offshore drilling) would decrease the cost of gasoline which is now $4 a gallon, decrease the cost of energy and create jobs,” he said.