Governors Of The Gulf Coast Want State Control Of Offshore Drilling Permits

Texas Gov. Rick Perry says the federal government can do more to help stimulate offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. At the Offshore Technology Conference here in Houston, Perry along with other Gulf state governors, says offshore drilling is still slower than it used to be before the Deepwater Horizon accident.

Perry joined the governors of North and South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi and Alaska and called on Washington to open up more waters to offshore drilling and to make permitting a quicker, more efficient process.

He told reporters at the conference that even though it’s been lifted, states along the Gulf of Mexico are still feeling the effects of the drilling moratorium following the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010.

Gov. Rick Perry Gov. calls for more offshore energy development. Video provided by the Office of the Gov. Rick Perry.

“States need to be given the freedom to expand areas of exploration, and the leeway to work with the energy industry to develop the resources that we have on hand. That’s a vital part of any “all of the above” energy policy, and would be a major benefit to both the individual states and to the nation as a whole.”

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant says no one cares more about the Gulf of Mexico than people who live along it.

“Many of us have some experience in this business, just ask those of us that was standing on that beach in April of 2010. Many of the bureaucrats that are now in Washington trying to tell us what to do were not there that day we were struggling with the spill. But now they believe they know better than us, and that somehow our input is not necessary for us to go forth.”

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says the future of coastal states depends on energy.

“We need to think about also, ways to access the energy that we need, while also protecting the environment, and the health and the safety of our citizens. I also feel that the significant revenues generated from oil and gas operations in federal waters, should be shared in a fair way, with the coastal states that assume the risk and provide the support for those offshore operations.”

Nicki Haley of South Carolina says its all about being energy independent.

“We build things in South Carolina. We’re  the number one tire producing state in the world right now in Bridgestone, Michelen and Continental. As many manufacturing companies that I bring in, what do we need? Energy, how to keep the lights on. I gotta make sure things keep moving. So, I’ve got to make sure that we have a good supply of energy. In order for me to make sure we do that, I’ve to come up with new alternatives to do that.”

The governors say more drilling would create jobs, strengthen the economy and lower gas prices. Offshore permitting is still slow, but experts say it has improved over the last couple of years.