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The Center opposes expanded offshore oil and gas drilling.

We support the current offshore oil and gas infrastructure, but are recommending a new saftety practice for deepwater wells: drilling two relief wells at each deep well site.

President Obama's 6-month moratorium on deepwater drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf affects 33 oil rigs that had "previously satisfied the rigors" of the Minerals Management Service's permitting process. The drilling moratorium was a response to BP's catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. President Obama should incorporate our proposal under current guidelines for offshore drilling as a cost of doing business. The two relief wells at each site will provide quintuple protection: 1) blowout preventer, 2) ram shear, 3) cement seal, 4) relief well, & 5) relief well. Oil workers in the Gulf should not be thrown out of work, which will only exacerbate the Louisiana's economy that will be significantly weakened by the oil spill disaster.

Moreover, the moratorium is based on claims that Secretary Salazar's report, which does not contain any facts, data, analysis or risk assessment concerning why he imposed the moratorium. All of the political leaders and most of the businesses, including seafood, support ending the moratorium. The moratium is simply a reaction to the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Again, our proposal solves the deepwater blowout problem in advance.

The oil industry employs roughly 58,000 workers in Louisiana, and its total of 260,000 oil-related jobs accounts for roughly 17 percent - one of every six jobs - in Louisiana, the state estimates. (Courthouse News Service, 6/11/2010)