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TribBlog: Texas Takes On Offshore Drilling Ban

Texas is suing to stop the Obama administration's second offshore drilling moratorium.

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Texas filed suit today to stop the Obama administration's second offshore drilling moratorium, which the attorney general's office says could produce a $622 million decrease in the state's economic output. Attorney General Greg Abbott brought the case on behalf of the state, the governor and Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, saying the federal government failed to consult with Texas before implementing it — which he says the feds are required to do under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, because Texas will be affected by the ban. The current moratorium is the second since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. A federal district court judge blocked the first after a company that services offshore rigs challenged it.

Abbott said: "The federal government ignored the State of Texas and failed to comply with the law when the Secretary of the Interior unilaterally imposed the Administration’s offshore drilling ban. Under federal law, affected states are guaranteed the right to participate in offshore drilling-related policy decisions, but the Obama Administration did not bother to communicate, coordinate or cooperate with Texas. Worse, the Secretary of the Interior failed to consider the economic consequences of his decision, which will cost the Texas economy millions of dollars — and threatens far too many hard-working Texans’ jobs."

Gov. Rick Perry released this statement in support of the move: “Once again, the Obama Administration has demonstrated a flagrant disregard for the rights and economies of states and the well-being of those whose jobs depend upon a safe and vibrant energy industry, many of whom live in Texas. It is unfortunate Texas must take such action against the federal government, but I will do everything in my power to preserve our state’s economy and the jobs that feed our families. The jobs and livelihoods of too many Texans are at stake for them to be denied a voice by the Obama Administration and their federal bureaucracy.”

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