NEW ORLEANS, Feb. 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Offshore Marine Service Association today announced a national campaign to demand President Obama stop destroying jobs and allow deepwater oil drilling to resume in the Gulf of Mexico.
The campaign kicked off with an open letter to President Obama, denouncing his illegal suspension of deepwater drilling in the Gulf.
"President Obama has been trying to fool Americans into thinking that he lifted the moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf," said Todd Hornbeck, president and CEO of Hornbeck Offshore Operators and chairman of the Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA). "Our education campaign will call him out on the facts: The Obama Administration is not issuing deepwater drilling permits, and the results have been devastating. It's hurting tens of thousands of workers, increasing prices for gasoline and heating oil, and making America even more dependent on foreign oil."
In addition to the open letter, the OMSA campaign will include advertisements, videos, public outreach, and an interactive website with the latest information on the de facto moratorium. The website can be found at http://moratorium.offshoremarine.org/omsa/.
"President Obama's response to the Gulf oil spill has been unreasonable, unwarranted, unfair and unlawful," said Jim Adams, president and CEO of OMSA. "On behalf of the tens of thousands of offshore marine service employees and their families, we are calling on President Obama to obey the rule of law and resume permitting. Our nation has suffered enough."
On Feb. 2, U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman found the Obama administration in contempt of court for failing to rescind its moratorium on deepwater drilling, which the judge originally found to be "arbitrary and capricious and, therefore, unlawful."
"Each step the government took following the Court's imposition of a preliminary injunction showcases its defiance," the judge wrote in his Feb. 2 order. "Such dismissive conduct…provides this Court with clear and convincing evidence of the government's contempt."
At no point has the Obama administration provided operators with a clear, reasonable directive for getting permits approved, Hornbeck said.
"The administration has created a de facto moratorium, and that is unlawful," Hornbeck said. "It's a self-inflicted energy crisis for America, undermining our job security, energy security and national security."
More than 50,000 wells have been safely drilled in the Gulf of Mexico. Since the Gulf spill, deepwater drillers have taken numerous additional measures to protect workers and safeguard the environment.
"No one wants to pollute beaches, put Americans out of work or pay billions to clean up a spill," Adams said. "It's in everyone's best interest to drill safely."
OMSA represents the owners and operators of U.S. flag offshore service vessels and the shipyards and other businesses that support that industry.
SOURCE Offshore Marine Service Association