STAFFORD, Texas Two Republican congressmen slammed the Obama administration Tuesday for putting politics ahead of saving jobs.
The GOP push against the president s six-month deepwater drilling moratorium comes after a federal judge in New Orleans struck down the ban last month. The Federal Court of Appeals is scheduled to take up the issue on July 8.
Meanwhile, U.S. Rep Pete Olsen, R-Texas, said the ban would cost the gulf coast 150,000 jobs. He and fellow Republican Sen. John Cornyn toured Sunbelt Machine Works Corp. in Stafford Tuesday to draw attention to the workers who could be affected.
You see a concern in (the employees ) faces, said Brent Scantlin, vice president of the company, which makes tools for the oil and gas industry.
Earlier in the day, the two politicians toured an offshore rig more than 200 miles from Houston. The Noble Danny Adkins rig is idle while its operators wait for the moratorium to be lifted for good.
Cornyn and Olsen argued that more operators will abandon the Gulf if the drilling ban continues.
At the Johnson Space Center in Clear Lake, Gov. Rick Perry also issued a message.
I put this in the same category if an airline unfortunately crashes, that they shut down all airline flights, he said.
Perry announced he was forming a new coalition of scientists and researchers to prevent future oil spills.
Political experts said the timing of the events is no coincidence.
What the Republicans want to do is take control of the issue and frame the issue, said Rice University Prof. Bob Stein, KHOU s political analyst. I think their concern right now is that although they will probably win most statewide races, that they'll win most of the congressional races, they might pick up seats in the state house, they're still concerned that if they should lose that gubernatorial election, Bill White will stand between them and the redistricting efforts.
Also on Tuesday, Republican Congressman Kevin Brady met with the leaders of several drilling companies in downtown Houston.