Thursday AM June 24th, 2010

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar still wants a moratorium on drilling new oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico until known whether it can be done safely in deepwater. Senator John Cornyn of Texas says the ban was too broad. Ed Mayberry reports.

John CornynA federal judge overturned the first moratorium, saying the government simply assumed that because one rig exploded, the others pose an imminent danger.  Senator John Cornyn says the fate of thousands of jobs remain unclear because of the appeal of the decision by the White House.

"Rather than delaying the issue by filing appeals, I really think this is a call to reason together and to try to work this through on a more narrow basis which, again, addresses the cause of the spill, make sure as much as humanly possible that it never happens again, but at the same time is cognizant of the fact that a blanket ban for an undetermined period of time has a terrible impact on jobs in the Gulf Coast as well as risks making us increasingly dependent on imported oil from dangerous parts of the world."

Senator Cornyn says the moratorium is more broad than it needs to be, and will kill jobs along the Gulf Coast at a time when unemployment is already too high.

"What I've suggested is that it could be more narrowly tailored to deal with the safety concerns, and indeed, the federal judge ruled that the U.S. government did not provide an adequate reason for the blanket ban, and that the administration had actually misstated expert opinions that they cited when justifying the drilling ban.  And of course the court issued a preliminary injunction saying that there was a probable right of victory on a permanent trial."  

Several companies, including Shell and Marathon Oil, say they will await the outcome of any appeals before they start drilling again.

Bio photo of Ed Mayberry

Ed Mayberry

Local Anchor, All Things Considered

Ed Mayberry has worked in radio since 1971, with many of those years spent on the rock 'n' roll disc jockey side of the business...