In response to the oil leak off the coast of Louisiana, President Obama ordered a moratorium on all deepwater drilling. Adhering to his governing stratagem of “never letting a crisis go to waste,” Obama used the current oil spill to appease unions, revitalize an energy tax, and ban offshore drilling.

Summarizing federal judge Martin Feldman’s rebuke of Obama’s moratorium, the Wall Street Journal editorializes:

“’the Report makes no effort to explicitly justify the moratorium.’ It does ‘not discuss any irreparable harm that would warrant a suspension of operations’ and doesn't provide a timeline for implementing proposed safety regulations. There is ‘no evidence’ that Mr. Salazar ‘balanced the concern for environmental safety’ with existing policy, and ‘no suggestion’ that he ‘considered any alternatives.’ The feds couldn't even coherently define ‘deep water.’ Ouch.

Given the shaky grounds Obama’s moratorium stands on, it is encouraging that Senator Vitter and Rep Olson have proposed legislation that would annul the president’s moratorium.

ATR sent letters to Congress urging Members to support Vitter and Olson’s proposals. A copy of the Senate letter is below:

On behalf of Americans for Tax Reform and millions of taxpayers, business owners and energy consumers, I applaud you for your introduction of S.3489, to terminate the moratorium on deepwater drilling issued by the Secretary of the Interior. This bill would end the six month moratorium that President Obama has put on all offshore drilling.

Additionally, all members of the US Senate should co-sponsor S.3489, a crucial and necessary step in putting Americans affected by the Gulf incident back to work.

S. 3489 would immediately annul the work stoppage that President Obama has put on all oil rigs working in the Gulf of Mexico. The bill would allow workers to return to their rigs and resume work immediately.

This bill is vital for the entire American economy.  In the wake of a recession, we cannot afford to send more jobs overseas – which is exactly what will happen if U.S. oil rigs are not allowed to operate. At the beginning of the busy summer travel season, Americans do not deserve skyrocketing gas prices as they have in summers past.

Most importantly, the President and this Congress should do all they can to help the people of the Gulf and all Americans in the wake of this incident. The current policies of freezing rigs, costing jobs, and preventing foreign aid are not acceptable.

 The economy of the Gulf States is going to suffer from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. What those states cannot afford is an obstacle getting in the way of trying to rebuild it.  This bill must be passed in order for the reconstruction to begin.

At the moment, offshore drilling provides 150,000 Americans with jobs and pays more than $6 billion to the federal government in taxes each year.  Everyday the moratorium is in place our economy loses millions of dollars. If these rigs were to remain inoperable, it could take up to a decade for normal drilling operations to resume.

I am urging all Congressmen to support you by co-sponsoring S.3489 to terminate the moratorium on deepwater drilling issued by the Secretary of the Interior. For information on becoming a co-sponsor, contact Bryan Zumwalt in Senator Vitter’s office at 202.224.4623 or ATR Federal Affairs Manager Brian Johnson at [email protected] or 202.785.0266.

Grover G. Norquist
cc:    All US Senators