Gulf Small Business Owner Pleads Louisiana Legislators to End Moratorium

Mar 01, 2011, 18:21 ET from Thomas Clements, Founder of CNC Machining

BROUSSARD, La., March 1, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Gulf small business owner Thomas Clements wrote a letter to the Louisiana Congressional delegation in advance of upcoming hearings on the Interior Department budget with Secretary Kenneth Salazar. Salazar oversees the department that has been responsible for the ongoing and indefinite Gulf permitting freeze.

"Despite claiming to lift the moratorium last October, and issuing one deepwater permit this week, the Interior Department's actions leave Gulf area workers and businesses still feeling the full brunt of this destructive policy. The uncertainty surrounding drilling and the painfully slow process of issuing permits has ensured that the future of small businesses like mine in Broussard remain up in the air."

"With the ongoing government imposed recession here in the Gulf, local businesses are continuing to close down. Please tell the Department of the Interior to allow us to get back to work, make a living, and provide for our families. BP has turned their backs on us; I hope that you will not."

Thomas Clements is the owner of Oilfield CNC Machining in Broussard, Louisiana. He has lost over $400,000 in revenue as a result of the ongoing drilling moratorium, and had his damages claim twice denied by BP. His letter is below.

Dear Louisiana Congressmen, Senators, and staff,

As you sit down to discuss the Interior Department budget over the next few weeks, please remember the ongoing economic damage this agency is responsible for in the Gulf. Despite claiming to lift the moratorium last October, and issuing one deepwater permit this week, the Interior Department's actions leave Gulf area workers and businesses still feeling the full brunt of this destructive policy. The uncertainty surrounding drilling and the painfully slow process of issuing permits has ensured that the future of small businesses like mine in Broussard remain up in the air.

I've read that the moratorium has cost the government nearly $10 billion in revenue. It is inexcusable to replace this lost funding caused by the drilling ban with higher taxes on American citizens and companies, or to place this burden on future generations. This is especially true in light of a new report by the chief counsel of the oil spill commission.

The report by Fred Bartlit clearly demonstrates a horrible management style by BP as the cause of the April 20th oil spill, and not some industry wide safety problem. From not knowing who was in charge, a failure to utilize and respond to key tests indicating a problem, and taking a carefree management approach, BP was an outlier and rogue participant in an otherwise serious and professional industry.

With the ongoing government imposed recession here in the Gulf, local businesses are continuing to close down. Please tell the Department of the Interior to allow us to get back to work, make a living, and provide for our families. BP has turned their backs on us; I hope that you will not.

Sincerely,

Thomas Clements

Owner, CNC Machining

Broussard, LA

SOURCE Thomas Clements, Founder of CNC Machining