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Lift Six-Month Shallow Water Drilling Ban: Congressman

Rep. Charles Boustany
Tom Williams | Roll Call | Getty Images
Rep. Charles Boustany

President Obama should lift the six-month moratorium on shallow-water drilling that was imposed in response to the massive BP oil spill in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, said a Louisiana congressman.

“I don’t think you just take a knee-jerk approach to shutting everything down,” Congressman Charles Boustany (R-La.) told CNBC. “There’s a responsible way to do this.” (Watch the interview here.)

Boustany is spearheading a bipartisan effort asking Obama to allow shallow-water drilling saying that it is safer than deep-water drilling, which is also subject to the moratorium.

Shallow water drilling "is a technologically mature industry with a great safety record for the past 40 years,” he said.

On Thursday, Obama announced additional restrictions on oil drilling, including a continuaton of the six-month moratorium on drilling permits and the suspension of exploratory drilling off the coasts of Alaska and Virginia.

Boustany said the ban will have a big economic impact in his state, which is driven by the oil and fishing industries.

"Clearly its having a detrimental impact," Boustany said about the oil spill, which is the largest ever in the United States.

“We will lose valuable energy production. The Gulf of Mexico provides a significant amount of oil and gas to United States,” he said. “I agree, we need to be deliberative, but we shouldn’t be knee-jerk with this.”

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