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Senate Proceeding on May 5th, 2011 :: 4:23:25 to 4:34:50
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David Vitter

4:23:24 to 4:23:45( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: and i yield the floor. mr. vitter: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from louisiana. mr. vitter: thank you, mr. president, very much. mr. president, tomorrow, may 6th, will mark the one-year anniversary of the formal moratorium placed on gulf of mexico energy production by

David Vitter

4:23:25 to 4:34:50( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: David Vitter

David Vitter

4:23:46 to 4:24:06( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: president obama and secretary salazar. so i wanted to speak on that occasion on -- on the eve of that occasion particularly as our constituents continue to see the price at the pump go up and up with really no end in sight. and i think those two facts are deeply related.

David Vitter

4:24:07 to 4:24:27( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: because i think this moratorium, which continues with the de facto moratorium, a performatorium, a permit logjam to this day is really one of the most poorly thought out, mismanaged and ill conceived energy decisions in terms of domestic energy production in our history.

David Vitter

4:24:28 to 4:24:48( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: now the first of these moratoriums in the gulf -- there are actually three different formal moratoriums, was announced on behalf of president obama by secretary salazar, again, one year ago tomorrow, may 6, 2010. and it was done in retrospect,

David Vitter

4:24:49 to 4:25:09( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: we find out, very hastily, and without scientific backing and justification. i say that because after that first moratorium was put down on may 6, 2010, on june 22, a federal judge, judge martin feldman of the eastern district of louisiana ruled against this

David Vitter

4:25:10 to 4:25:30( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: job-crushing moratorium. it banned drilling below 500 feet of water for six months, but judge feldman put it on hold because he found that under federal law it had failed to properly weigh a number of factors, including the economic impact it would have on the industry and surrounding communities.

David Vitter

4:25:31 to 4:25:52( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: and i might add in a hearing we had in the senate about the administration decision to place the moratorium, in effect, it was shocking to hear administration officials say very directly no holds bar that they never considered any economic impact in the decision whatsoever.

David Vitter

4:25:53 to 4:26:13( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: now, again, this failing to properly weigh the economic impact of the decision has been a chronic problem in some agencies like the e.p.a. unfortunately this administration seems to have brought that same knee-jerk reaction of the interior problem with the same economic illiteracy.

David Vitter

4:26:14 to 4:26:35( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: in the interior department's infinite wisdom on july 12th, secretary salazar issued a backup second moratorium. the courts struck down the first moratorium on the basis of existing federal law so he just came and issued a second moratorium on deepwater drilling. this second moratorium would

David Vitter

4:26:36 to 4:26:56( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: soon be met with resistance and disappointment as coastal louisiana communities would realize there was nothing they could do from interior that seemed to be absolutely hell bent on adversely impacting their jobs. now, on october 12th,

David Vitter

4:26:57 to 4:27:17( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: secretary salazar celebrated a victory by lifting that moratorium and at that time he claimed -- quote -- "the policy position that we are articulating today is that we are open for business." that's what the secretary, ken salazar, said last october 12th. unfortunately those of us who live in louisiana and along the

David Vitter

4:27:18 to 4:27:39( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: gulf coast know that that's not true. what he should have said is, the policy position that we're articulating today is, we're open for business as long as you don't need a permit from the interior department. because that second federal moratorium was lifted, but that

David Vitter

4:27:40 to 4:28:00( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: brought us to the initiation of the third moratorium, not an official moratorium, but a de facto moratorium, a complete logjam in this administration and at the department of interior. again, this has been commonly

David Vitter

4:28:01 to 4:28:23( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: and accurately referred to as a de facto moratorium, an absolute logjam and secretary salazar has per pep waited that and -- perpetuated that that repeatedly stated that it doesn't exist, but the facts, the statistics,

David Vitter

4:28:24 to 4:28:44( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: the numbers make -- now it wouldn't be until four more months until february 28th of this year that the interior department would issue the very first permit to drill in deep water, an explorery well. so, again, big celebration, big announcement that the formal moratorium was lifted.

David Vitter

4:28:45 to 4:29:08( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: but for four months zero permits an only four months later the first deepwater exploratory permit. to date, even since february 28th, of this year, there have only been 12 deepwater permits issued in the gulf. now, that pace is well below the

David Vitter

4:29:09 to 4:29:29( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: pace before the norm of the b.p. disaster, 60% slower than the prespill pace. the pace of only deepwater new well permits that would decrease domestic supplies are forthcoming at the average pace of one per month, just a trickle -- just a tiny percentage of the predisaster

David Vitter

4:29:30 to 4:29:54( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: pace. so tomorrow's one year since the obama administration implemented this moratorium policy. the first of three crushing mororups, two -- moratoriums, two formal moratoriums, the ongoing de facto moratorium.

David Vitter

4:29:55 to 4:30:16( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: the energy division is now estimating that the falloff in domestic production this year alone will be about 200,000 barrels per day. that's a lot of oil, 200,000 barrels per day. and an additional

David Vitter

4:30:17 to 4:30:37( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: 200,000 barrels per day in 2012. to put this falloff that is expected from the obama administration's policy in perspective, as a result of the logjam by 2012 we would lose as much in the gulf of mexico as we currently import from brazil an

David Vitter

4:30:38 to 4:30:58( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: colombia, combined. these are the two countries, by the way, where we supported with taxpayer funded guarantees projects related to their energy production. this falloff is roughly equivalent also to what we imported in january from iraq.

David Vitter

4:30:59 to 4:31:19( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: now, there are several things i'd like to highlight for tomorrow's anniversary of the initiation of this moratorium policy. first, the price of gasoline at the pump is now $3.0 a -- $3.98 a gallon. it more than doubled since president obama took office.

David Vitter

4:31:20 to 4:31:40( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: there's perhaps not a greater anti-stimulus for our economy than that doubling at the price at the pump. second, seven deepwater rigs have left the gulf of mexico. they're gone and they're not coming back any time soon. and, in addition, five are coal stacked are without a contract. that's a total of 12 rigs.

David Vitter

4:31:41 to 4:32:02( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: ironically that's exactly the same number of deepwater permits that the interior department issued, a trickle compared to pre-b.p. levels. number three, what minor credit i should give the interior department for this abysmal base of permitting will be noted when i release my hold on the nomination of dan ash.

David Vitter

4:32:03 to 4:32:24( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: i'm currently holding that nomination of a top-level interior department official and i said i would hold it until we got at least 15 deepwater explorery permits. at the time i initiated there was zero. as i said, that's finally now up to 12. i said i would lift the hold

David Vitter

4:32:25 to 4:32:46( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: when i got to 15. we're just three away. we'll get there, we'll get the hold but that is merely a trickle of what our pace needs to be. fourth, i'll be introducing an important piece of legislation, it's called the agency overreach moratorium act. we need a moratorium.

David Vitter

4:32:47 to 4:33:11( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: we need a moratorium on regulatory overreach, agency overreach as we see in the interior department, in e.p.a., in many other agencies. so this legislation is intended to prevent federal action that you would -- you would unilaterally destroy jobs on federal lands, on the o.c.s. the interior department.

David Vitter

4:33:12 to 4:33:34( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: instead of issuing permits to find american energy, they're issuing regulations, the most recent on a whole new category of contractors completely unnecessary because they're already regulating the drillers and that is regulatory overreach and that is job-killing action. my agency overreach will lay out

David Vitter

4:33:35 to 4:33:55( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: the real moratorium we need on job-killing action out of washington, out of this administration, not on domestic energy production. mr. president, i want to thank all of my colleagues and i hope we'll all come together soon around a commonsense pro-active domestic energy policy. it needs to include a lot of things.

David Vitter

4:33:56 to 4:34:16( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: i'm a fervent believer in all of the above. but it certainly needs to start on lifting the continuing de facto moratorium on u.s. energy production, on u.s. jobs, on good additional revenue to the u.s. treasury to lower our deficit if we're going to get on

David Vitter

4:34:17 to 4:34:30( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: the right energy path. and i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll of the senate.

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