Though the moratorium on deep water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico has officially been lifted by the Obama Administration, we canít expect any immediate salvation to the lifeblood of Louisianaís coastal economy.
There are reportedly other problems lying in the way.
First of all, new permits for drilling will have to be obtained. And we know how long it sometimes† takes to get government permits.
Operators also will have to satisfy many new regulations imposed on the industry since the moratorium was imposed. This also means more time needed to understand the regulations and abide by them.
And finally, rigs and dtilling operations will have to be reinspected. All of which means more delays in an industry that supplies employment directly to some 12,000 people in Louisiana.
Drilling for oil on and off the coast of our state has been a relatively safe operation in the past, especially when compared with subsurface mining operations in other states. And yet there was seldom any interruption in those activities.
Hopefully the federal government† will realize that many people make their livelihoods in the offshore oil industry of Louisiana and hasten the procedures they are requiring without the usual slowness that has identified such governmental procedures in the past.
We have abided by their moratorium. Now it is time to get back to work in our offshore oil production which has worked well with few difficulties for so many years in the past.