Congressman calls moratorium 'stupid'

Aug. 20, 2010 at 10:02 AM
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DALLAS, Aug. 20 (UPI) -- The Obama administration's temporary moratorium on oil-drilling in the Gulf of Mexico is "stupid" and will cause prices to climb, a Republican congressman says.

The moratorium will also increase America's dependency of foreign oil, Texas Rep. Joe Barton said in a report in Friday's Dallas Morning News.

"Eighty percent of the oil we're discovering, we're discovering in the deep gulf. When you put a six-month moratorium in place that could last indefinitely, you're not exploring for the very resource we need in America," Barton said at a forum sponsored by the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce. "The moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico is stupid."

Barton is infamously known for his public apology to BP boss Tony Hayward in June for what the congressman called a "shakedown" after President Obama ordered BP to establish a $20 billion fund to guarantee it would clean up its oil spill and compensate the government and others who suffered from economic consequences.

An earlier order to halt drilling in the gulf was put on hold by a federal court, but the Obama administration filed for a new delay a short time later.

The White House offered no rebuttal to Barton's remarks.

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