In response to the Rally For Economic Survival yesterday, via Investors’ Business Daily we have this statement from White House press secretary Kendra Barkoff yesterday afternoon…

Without question, the BP oil spill has caused tremendous economic pain for communities along the Gulf Coast. Fishermen are out of work, hotels and restaurants are suffering, and the oil and gas industry is having to raise the bar on its practices to ensure that something like this never happens again. BP must uphold its responsibilities to help compensate the residents and businesses that have been affected by its oil spill.

We are working closely with the oil and gas industry to help them strengthen their safety practices and improve their spill containment and spill response capabilities. In the shallow waters of the Gulf, operators are implementing strengthened safety requirements and may continue to drill. In the deepwater, however, the risks are different, and it has become increasingly clear that companies may not have adequate containment and response capabilities to respond to a spill. It is not appropriate at this point to drill new deepwater wells in the Gulf until we can be assured that future drilling activity can be conducted in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. A repeat of the BP oil spill would have grave economic and environmental consequences for the region and is simply not an option.

The statement comes in tandem with an appearance by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Bureau of Ocean Energy (the re-named MMS) head Michael Bromwich at the House Oversight Committee today in which the duo announced they’ll be conducting meetings in various energy states with local folks to hear their concerns.

It’s quite obvious these local get-togethers are designed as a means of running out the clock on the moratorium while attemping to ward off pesky federal judges who would slap a contempt of court ruling on Salazar for his violating court orders in imposing the moratorium in the first place.

It’s also obvious that Lafourche Parish President Charlotte Randolph’s reference yesterday to “shutting off the valves” at the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port in retaliation for the federal government’s hardheaded refusal to stop its assault on Louisiana’s economy – an idea perhaps first broached on The Hayride a month ago – is less zany than it was just 24 hours ago.



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