Our thoughts remain with the families and coworkers of the eleven workers who died. The oil and gas industry is a close family, and we will never forget the sacrifices made by those who were lost.
Response efforts following the incident were unprecedented with resources and expertise focused on mitigating environmental impacts to the region. The Gulf Coast states and our environment are a vital part of this country and we must focus on assessing long term impacts and ensuring the best available resources and technology are committed for as long as it takes for the Gulf region to recover.
Fishermen, businesses and others who rely on the Gulf for their livelihoods need our support as they rebuild following the spill. Our own industry and all of the service companies who support it are suffering as a result of the drilling moratorium, and we need certainty and stability in the industry so affected employees can get back to work.
We learn from experiences and while the oil and gas industry’s safety record was certainly strong prior to the Deepwater Horizon, the industry has raised the bar on response capabilities and environmental protections. As a result of the lessons learned, the industry is safer today than it was a year ago.
LMOGA member companies have invested over $1 billion in spill containment systems to provide rapid response in the unlikely event of an accident in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The goal is to ensure there is never a need for the systems to be used, but their availability addresses a key point to regulators about the industry’s commitment to safety and response.
The recent creation of the Center for Offshore Safety is another example of the industry-wide commitment to safe operations and a culture of continuous improvement.
Our commitment to safe offshore operations is important because about 30 percent of the nation’s oil, and 13 percent of it’s natural gas, is produced in the Gulf and with increasing demand for energy, it’s time to get back to work. Because of the persistent efforts and dedication of the employees who work tirelessly in the oil and gas industry, exploration and production will continue in the Gulf of Mexico – safer than ever before – and the Gulf will continue to provide the fuel on which America depends.
A former U.S. Congressman, Chris John is the President of the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil & Gas Association.