Decisions made over the coming months by our elected officials in Washington will either allow for robust development of U.S. energy resources in the Gulf of Mexico, or they will lurch this nation one step closer toward a national energy crisis of our own making.
The massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is a stark reminder of the need to pursue our nation’s energy resources in a safe, responsible way. But regulators in Washington have not been willing to recognize the seriousness with which the energy industry has responded to the Gulf spill, nor have bureaucrats in Washington acknowledged the decisive steps that have been taken to upgrade the safety equipment and procedures involved in deep-water drilling in the Gulf.
A moratorium on deep-water drilling and a shutdown on the drilling permit process has essentially frozen new energy production in a vital energy sector, which is now responsible for delivering one of every four barrels of oil that this nation consumes.
Middle East tensions and civil unrest in several Arab nations have recently pushed oil prices even higher, while countless numbers of Gulf workers and supporting businesses scattered all over the United States sit idle with no sign of returning to their jobs.
Last week, oil industry majors announced a new, state-of-the-art well containment system that is ready to be deployed in the unlikely event that it becomes necessary. This containment system provides the Gulf with a new, gold-standard capability to deal with any spill and represents a long-term commitment to the safety of the Gulf region.
Working collaboratively, and in conjunction with government officials, a team of professionals from four of the largest energy firms — Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell and Conoco-Phillips — developed a oil well containment cap that is capable of operating in water up to 8,000 feet deep and collecting up to 60,000 barrels of liquids per day.
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