June 15th, 2010
10:09 PM ET
12 years ago

Gibbs defends deepwater drilling moratorium

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/15/art.gibbs.youtube.jpg caption ="Robert Gibbs responded to questions via YouTube Tuesday following Obama's Oval Office address."]
Washington (CNN) - Saying it was an essential safety measure in the wake of the disastrous Gulf oil spill, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs defended the Obama administration's six-month moratorium on deepwater oil and gas drilling following the President's Oval Office address Tuesday.

"The president told us that because we don't know what caused this accident, we can't afford to continue drilling those 33 [deepwater] wells without knowing what happened. The president didn't feel comfortable with that," he said.

Gibbs was responding to a question previously submitted to the White House online.

Critics have argued that the six-month moratorium will hinder economic recovery in a region that is largely dependent on the oil industry.

"In Louisiana, that's caused some economic pain, and the president understands that," Gibbs acknowledged. "But at the same time, we can't take BP's word for it that they have safety procedures in place to make sure that what happened 57 and 58 days ago doesn't repeat itself."

Obama instituted the moratorium after reviewing a report from the Department of Interior 30 days after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, Gibbs said. The ban halted all drilling in more than 500 feet of water and prevents new permits from being issued.

Filed under: Energy • Obama administration • Robert Gibbs
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Da Professor

    Ah yes, the Republican Critics have argued that the six-month moratorium on deep water drilling in the Gulf say that it will hinder economic recovery in a region that is largely dependent on the oil industry." Obvious to the rest of us is that playing it safe and gathering facts WILL protect the jobs and economy of the Gulf coast fishing industry.

    Meanwhile, it is the likes of Boehner that depend on the oil company funding of their reelections that depend on deep water drilling.

    June 16, 2010 02:01 am at 2:01 am |
  2. BeverlyNC

    The drilling ban should be permanent. It is not safe and will never be safe. We cannot risk another spill into our waters.

    These wprkers need to be paid by BP for a certain amount of time while they find different work. Put some clean energy manufacturing companies down there.

    Drilling for oil is archaic and only keeps oil companies with too much power and puts our environment at too much risk.

    End all oil drilling in American waters and invest in clean energy transportation fuel. We have the energy from other sources and we have the technology already up and running.

    Ending oil use and being the leaders in clean energy positively affects our national security and our economy in jobs, patents in new technology, and manufacturing of new energy products to sell around the world.

    June 16, 2010 03:02 am at 3:02 am |
  3. Mohammed Chawla

    Not to worry, the Chicago thugs will make BP pay for everything, it does not matter wether it is directly related to the oil spill or not. Soon they might include labor unions (from every sector) from all over the country to file claims against BP.

    This administration broke the laws in the case of the bankcrupties of Chrysler and GM and they do not believe they need to follow any law regarding BP also.

    Chicago mobs have moved to Washington.

    June 16, 2010 03:07 am at 3:07 am |
  4. darren forges

    The pres is absolutely correct on this issue

    June 16, 2010 04:01 am at 4:01 am |
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