Napolitano falsely claims Obama moratorium prevents "all drilling in the Gulf"*

››› ››› ERIC SCHROECK

On Fox & Friends, Fox News contributor Andrew Napolitano falsely claimed that the Obama administration's drilling moratorium covers all oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. In fact, the administration's moratorium covers only new deepwater Gulf drilling; moreover, more than 5,000 Gulf oil wells that are already producing oil and gas reportedly can remain in operation.*

Napolitano claims Obama moratorium halts all Gulf drilling*

From the June 11 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:

ERIC BOLLING (guest co-host): What about the idea, real quickly, the Obama -- Mr. Obama said, hey, you need to pay those laid-off oil workers -- those platform workers that they were going to use. Meanwhile, he pulled the leases on them.

NAPOLITANO: The government has imposed a moratorium on all drilling in the Gulf, even in areas that are not affected by this oil spill. Now the government wants BP to pay the salaries of those who lost their jobs because of the government moratorium. Can't be done.

In fact, moratorium affects only new deepwater drilling*

Salazar ordered six-month moratorium on "drilling of new deepwater wells." In a May 28 statement announcing the moratorium, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said that he is "directing a six month suspension of all pending, current, or approved offshore drilling operations of new deepwater wells in the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific regions." He further stated, "For those operators who are currently drilling new deepwater wells, they shall halt drilling activity at the first safe and controlled stopping point and take all necessary steps to close the well." From Salazar's statement:

Yesterday, I presented recommendations to the President based on a 30-day review of the BP Explosion and Oil Spill that began on April 20, 2010. Based on that review, the recommendations contained in the report to the President, and further evaluation of the issue, I find at this time and under current conditions that offshore drilling of new deepwater wells poses an unacceptable threat of serious and irreparable harm to wildlife and the marine, coastal, and human environment as that is specified in 30 C.F.R. 250.172(b). I also have determined that the installation of additional safety or environmental protection equipment is necessary to prevent injury or loss of life and damage to property and the environment. 30 C.F.R. 250.172(c).

Therefore, I am directing a six month suspension of all pending, current, or approved offshore drilling operations of new deepwater wells in the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific regions. This suspension does not apply to drilling operations that are necessary to conduct emergency activities, such as the drilling operations related to the ongoing BP oil spill. For those operators who are currently drilling new deepwater wells, they shall halt drilling activity at the first safe and controlled stopping point and take all necessary steps to close the well. In addition, MMS shall not process any new applications for permits to drill consistent with this directive. All applicable regulations shall apply to the implementation of this directive.

Houston Chronicle: Moratorium does not affect "the 4,515 shallow-water and the 591 deepwater Gulf wells now producing oil and gas." The Houston Chronicle reported on May 28: "The administration's ban on approving new deep-water drilling permits for at least six months and the suspension of deepwater exploration do not affect the 4,515 shallow-water and the 591 deepwater Gulf wells now producing oil and gas."

AP: "Platforms that are already producing oil along with rigs in shallow waters are allowed to remain in operation."
In a June 10 article, The Associated Press reported: "The moratorium put a halt to the 33 deepwater exploratory rigs in operation in the Gulf in addition to all new deep-sea drilling permits. Platforms that are already producing oil along with rigs in shallow waters are allowed to remain in operation."

* Edited for clarity.

Posted In
Government, The Presidency & White House
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Andrew Napolitano
Show/Publication
FOX & Friends
Stories/Interests
Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill
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