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Hastings: U.S. Blocking Gulf Development

WASHINGTON, Oct. 13 (UPI) — The White House is dragging its feet on returning oil production in the Gulf of Mexico to the levels before last year’s oil spill, a lawmaker said.

The Republican-led House Natural Resources Committee is examining the economic effects of last year’s moratorium on oil and gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico. The ban, established following the Deepwater Horizon accident in the Gulf of Mexico, was lifted last October.

Albert Reese, chief financial officer at ATP Oil and Gas Corp., told the committee his company lost roughly 60 wells because of regulatory delays, which he said translated to around $6.3 billion in losses to his company over two years.

U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, said Washington’s hesitance to get oil and gas operations running again in the gulf was hurting the U.S. economy.

Hastings said that he recognized some permits were getting through but permitting activity wasn’t yet at levels seen before last year’s oil spill.

“It’s time to get people back to work and get the gulf’s economy growing again,” Hastings said in a statement.

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