Governors: Time to end the drilling moratorium

We’re all pretty busy these days with the big, flashy stories which are eating up the news cycle, from Benghazi to Boston to the IRS, oh my! But even with all of this going on, the nation’s governors are still stuck with the tedious business of keeping their states functioning, creating jobs and generally doing their jobs. Six of them came out during the past week asking for some action which will allow them to do just that. These half dozen coastal governors would like to see Washington get out of the way and let them get back into the energy production business.

Six coastal governors have called on Washington to open up more waters to offshore drilling and to make permitting a quicker, more efficient process.

The governors of Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi and Alaska spoke Monday at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston. Officials from Louisiana and Virginia also spoke.

They say a federal moratorium on offshore drilling after the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, and permitting requirements put in place after that, have made it difficult for companies to develop resources.

The governors say more drilling would create jobs, strengthen the nation’s economy and lower gas prices.

Rick Perry led off with some strong statements, but the Lone Star state is no stranger to drilling. The more urgent need seems to be with some East coast executives who have coastlines which are essentially 100% shut down in terms of oil exploration. Nikki Haley came out with one of the winning quotes of the week.

“Let us step up,” said South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. “Let us do offshore work. Let us go and be part of the solution to our nation’s energy problem.” …

Haley noted the big stakes for coastal states that depend on tourism from beach-loving visitors for tax dollars and economic activity.

“I’m not going to do anything to mess up the No. 1 tourist destination in the world,” Haley said. “We’re going to do everything we can to protect the natural resources. But it’s not one or the other. We can do both.”

Unlike much of the gridlock in DC, this is actually a very fixable problem. And if the White House was interested, they could find willing partners across the aisle who are ready to get something done, even if it means that they might like they were, “working with the President.” Who knows? It might even distract a few people from Jay Carney’s disastrous daily television variety show.