Bill Clinton: Offshore Drilling Delays 'Ridiculous'

Friday, 11 Mar 2011 07:00 PM

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Delays in offshore oil and gas drilling permits are “ridiculous” at a time when the economy is still rebuilding, former President Bill Clinton told attendees Friday at the IHS CERAWeek conference. Clinton spoke on a panel with former President George W. Bush that was closed to the media, Politico reported. There also was no video of the event.

Still, there were several attendees who confirmed to Politico that Clinton agreed with Bush on many oil and gas issues, including criticism of delays in permitting offshore since last year’s Gulf of Mexico spill.

“Bush said all the things you’d expect him to say” on oil and gas issues, said Jim Noe, senior vice president at Hercules Offshore and executive director of the pro-drilling Shallow Water Energy Security Coalition. But Clinton added, “You’d be surprised to know that I agree with all that,” according to Noe and others attending the conference who talked to Politico.

Clinton said there are “ridiculous delays in permitting when our economy doesn’t need it,” according to Noe and others.

Both Clinton and Bush agreed on the need to get offshore drilling workers back on the job. They also agreed on the need for more domestic shale gas production, with Clinton noting that it has been done safely for years in his home state of Arkansas.

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