Landrieu blasts administration after driller files bankruptcy

Washington, D.C.(KSLA) – United States Senator Mary L. Landrieu issued a statement Friday night in response to breaking news that the second-largest shallow water driller, Seahawk Drilling, will file for bankruptcy due to the lack of drilling permits being issued in the Gulf of Mexico.

"Tonight, I received news that the American Seahawk Drilling Company will file bankruptcy and exit the Gulf of Mexico. I have said repeatedly that the administration's excruciatingly slow release of oil and gas permits will cause job losses and undue economic hardship. Sadly, the worst-case predictions are now true, and we are still living this economic nightmare," said Sen. Landrieu.

"It seems that the six rigs that have left the Gulf and taken off for other places—taking U.S. jobs and tax dollars along with them—were not enough to wake up this administration. How many more rigs have to leave and how many more businesses have to close before it realizes the havoc the de facto moratorium is wrecking on the Gulf Coast? When these businesses close, people lose good paying jobs, our communities erode and our unique culture disappears.

"The most infuriating thing about this announcement is that the shallow water industry was not placed under the president's moratorium. Despite this, BOEMRE's new rules and regulations make it very difficult to conduct business in the Gulf. It is time the administration ends this madness and gets the folks along the Gulf Coast back to work."

Since the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, only 31 shallow water permits have been issued. Only one exploratory permit and no deepwater permits have been issued.

Last week, Federal Judge Martin Feldman ruled that the U.S. Interior Department in civil contempt for failing to comply with his June 2010 injunction against the moratorium on deepwater oil and gas drilling. Judge Feldman ruled the administration used faulty reasoning to impose the moratorium in response to the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.