Former President Bill Clinton said Friday that delays in offshore oil and gas drilling permits are “ridiculous” at a time when the economy is still rebuilding, according to attendees at the IHS CERAWeek conference.
Clinton spoke on a panel with former President George W. Bush that was closed to the media. Video of their moderated talk with IHS CERA Chairman Daniel Yergin was also prohibited.
But according to multiple people in the room, Clinton, surprisingly, 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 in the room.
Clinton said there are “ridiculous delays in permitting when our economy doesn’t need it,” according to Noe and others.
“That was the most surprising thing they said,” Noe said.
The two former presidents both generally agreed on the need to get offshore drilling workers back on the job.
Well, this should help if a certain Secretary of State decides to throw her hat in the ring come 2016.