NEW ORLEANS, Feb. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Offshore Marine Service Association today praised a federal judge's ruling holding the U.S. Interior Department in civil contempt and called for the Obama Administration to end its de facto moratorium on offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
"The ruling highlights the disparity between President Obama's stated policy objectives -- to grow jobs and promote American energy independence -- and his actions, which instead deliver higher unemployment, higher fuel prices and greater dependency on foreign energy sources. This ruling demonstrates the President is more interested in shutting down our domestic oil and gas production than he is in establishing clear rules to enhance safety and environmental protection. President Obama's policies are destroying American jobs and exporting American technology to countries that value safe offshore energy production," said Jim Adams, president and CEO of the Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA).
"President Obama claims to have lifted the Gulf moratorium, yet not a single deepwater permit has been issued in nine months. As a result, thousands of workers are out of jobs, Americans are paying more for gasoline and heating oil, and our nation is becoming even more dependent on unstable nations for our energy needs," Adams said.
"President Obama talks a lot about jobs and energy independence," Adams added. "Now it's time for him to back up his words with action and call off his de facto moratorium. Americans want an end to this manmade disaster."
Judge Martin Feldman ruled Wednesday that the Interior Department disregarded his earlier injunction against the Administration's drilling moratorium. In June, Feldman had struck down the moratorium that the Administration had imposed, saying that the government simply assumed that because one oil rig had triggered a spill, other rigs were just as dangerous.
Interior Secretary Kenneth Salazar responded by instituting a second moratorium that was nearly identical to the one the judge had thrown out.
The government's "dismissive conduct," Feldman wrote, "viewed in tandem with the reimposition of a second blanket and substantively identical moratorium and in light of the national importance of this case, provide this Court with clear and convincing evidence of the government's contempt of this Court's preliminary injunction Order."
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