Congressman Culberson’s Statement on Interior Secretary Salazar’s Visit to Houston

Friday, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar was in Houston examining new technology while gasoline prices are rising and deepwater drilling permits pile up in his Washington office.

Recent events in the Middle East have shown us that we cannot afford to be dependent on foreign sources of oil. We are blessed with abundant resources here at home, yet President Obama maintains a de facto moratorium on shallow and deepwater permits. Shutting off access to the rich resources off our nation’s coasts is causing energy prices to rise, dampening economic growth, sending American jobs overseas, and inflicting more pain and suffering on American consumers during these difficult economic times.

The inescapable fact that the Obama administration has ignored during this debate is the fact that our domestic oil and gas industry follows the world’s strictest standards for human safety and environmental protection. If we shut down our offshore drilling operations, the increasing demand for energy will force us to import even more oil and gas from countries with lax or subpar safety and environmental standards. We wouldn’t be eliminating the risks; we would be exporting and expanding them.

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