A coalition letter was sent to Senate and House Appropriations Subcommittees on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies.
Although AAEA has consistently opposed expanded drilling near Florida, the East coast and California coast, we support drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and believe that drilling permits in established drilling areas should be approved forthwith. Tapping into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is not a solution to our domestic market oil needs, domestic production is the solution.
Although the moratorium has been officially lifted, the U.S. Department of the Interior is not issuing permits. NBCC President and CEO Harry Alford explained,
“The single deepwater drilling permit granted in the Gulf is a political maneuver, and an insult to struggling businesses, meant only to alleviate pressure on Interior Department Secretary Salazar for budget discussions with Congress. The Administration ought to be focusing attention toward alleviating the pressure on business owners on the brink of collapse from the economically destructive and ongoing moratorium.”The following groups also co-signed the letter:
• Ship Builders Council of America
• Louisiana Black Chamber of Commerce
• Minority Business Enterprise Legal Defense and Education Fund
• African American Environmentalist Association