Top House Republican: Time to ‘get back to work’ in the Gulf

“[O]ver the past year significant progress has been made towards making American offshore drilling the safest in the world,” Hastings said. “Safety reforms have been implemented, new technology has been deployed and the Gulf is ready to get back to work to help create jobs and lower gasoline prices.”

Hastings's comments come a day after the Obama administration's top Gulf oil spill official told The Hill there is “no such thing as risk-free drilling."

In the aftermath of the oil spill, the Interior Department issued a series of beefed-up drilling safety regulations. While the pace of permitting for offshore projects in the Gulf has slowed down since the spill, the administration has issued more than a dozen deepwater drilling permits and several dozen shallow water permits for the type of project that was halted after the spill.

Interior officials have stressed they are moving diligently to issue permits, but say companies must prove that they can contain major well blowouts.

But Republicans say the administration is not moving quickly enough.

“The pain of this disaster has touched nearly every family, small business and community throughout the Gulf of Mexico,” Hastings said. “People and businesses along the Gulf continue to struggle and they are fighting to recover from not only the spill but the subsequent policies of the Obama Administration.”

Here is Hastings’ full statement:

“This is a time to remember the eleven men who tragically lost their lives and the families who lost their loved ones.  This week, the Committee travelled to Louisiana to examine the status of recovery efforts and hear about on-going challenges. The pain of this disaster has touched nearly every family, small business and community throughout the Gulf of Mexico.  People and businesses along the Gulf continue to struggle and they are fighting to recover from not only the spill but the subsequent policies of the Obama Administration.  However, over the past year significant progress has been made towards making American offshore drilling the safest in the world.  Safety reforms have been implemented, new technology has been deployed and the Gulf is ready to get back to work to help create jobs and lower gasoline prices.”