Barney Frank Opposes Offshore Drilling For Fishing Industry
With oil trading above $145 a barrel, exploration and drilling for oil could provide economic opportunities for Rep. Barney Frankâ€™s (D-Mass.) struggling congressional district.
That wasnâ€™t enough to persuade Frank, who insisted this would hurt the fishing industry in his district. He made the anti-drilling comments during CNBCâ€™s July 14 â€śThe Callâ€ť in anticipation of Bushâ€™s announcement that he would lift the executive order banning oil drilling offshore.
â€śWell, my main focus on that is on the fishing industry,â€ť Frank said. â€śI represent the
But one fisheries group expressed a completely different view. Bob Jones, executive director of the Southeast Fisheries Association, explained to the Northwest Florida Daily News on June 22 that oil rigs actually help fish populations.
On July 14, President George W. Bush lifted an executive order that banned offshore oil drilling and lobbied Congress to follow suit. However, Frank also expressed concerned about the potential of an oil spill.
â€śNothing that I have heard from the people who are in the fishing industry â€“ uh, nothing has alleviated their fears,â€ť Frank said. â€śAn oil spill could be terribly, terribly damaging to them.â€ť
The threat of an oil spill from offshore drilling has lessened significantly over the years according to the Heritage Foundationâ€™s Ben Lieberman.
Lieberman called the concerns â€śoverblownâ€ť in an op-ed on FoxNews.com on July 11. â€śAdvances in technology have greatly reduced the risk of oil spills, as was amply proven in late August 2005 when Hurricane Katrina ripped through the Gulf but didnâ€™t cause a single offshore mishap of any significance.â€ť
Frank has been outspoken about the economic plight of his home district. Last year, Frank complained how his district was being hit in the wake of the downturn in the economy in an interview with the Financial Times. At the time of the interview, Quaker Fabric, a textile maker in
Offshore oil production has served as a help to the
â€śItâ€™s absolutely worth it,â€ť Garret Graves, head of the Louisiana Governor's Office of Coastal Activities said to USA Today.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified Rep. Barney Frank. He represents Massachusetts, where Quaker Fabric is located.