by Kevin Allman
So there was no mention of the Gulf oil disaster in President Barack Obama's State of the Union address — or, for that matter, in Rep. Paul Ryan's GOP response, or Rep. Michele Bachmann's TelePrompter-challenged Tea Party Express response.
The omission was a long slow pitch across the plate for any ambitious Gulf Coast Republican politician who cared to take a swing at it, and newly minted Rep. Jeff Landry issued this statement less than an hour after Obama finished speaking:
“The President made a great speech, as he always does; but the American people understand the difference between words and actions. We are in desperate need for results. Since the $800 billion taxpayer-funded stimulus program began, we have lost 2.1. million jobs. Our debt is increasing by $54,373 per second. And our average price of gasoline is rising above $3 per gallon. Now is the time for the President to match his rhetoric with action on creating jobs, reducing spending, and shrinking the size of the government.
Tonight, the President missed a tremendous opportunity to address the on-going situation in the Gulf of Mexico. I would have preferred empty words to absolute neglect. Of 6,802 words in the President’s speech, not one addressed the Administration’s de facto moratorium, the resulting job losses, or the degradation of Coastal Louisiana’s economy. Mr. President, ducking the issue will not lessen our dependence upon foreign oil, wishing will not lower the price at the pump, and no amount of space race metaphors can put Louisianans back to work. It’s one thing to dream; it’s another to fantasize. We need leadership; we need action.
As the Congressman for Coastal Louisiana, I am personally offended that the President refused to recognize the 11 lives lost in the Deepwater Horizon tragedy. I am absolutely disappointed that the President refused to mention the thousands of hard-working Americans who have lost their jobs because of his politically-driven moratorium on the oil and gas industry.
The President may be willing to ignore them and may be willing to prohibit drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, but tomorrow he will not be able to stop me from drilling his Presidential Oil Spill Commission’s report and demanding answers to why BOEMRE is still not issuing permits on the shelf or deepwater — even though he supposedly lifted the moratorium. The great people on the Gulf Coast demand answers; and if the President is unwilling to address them in his State of the Union, I will address them in tomorrow’s oversight hearing.”