The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

February 13, 2013

Palazzo wants offshore rig demolitions halted



JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi Republican Rep. Steven Palazzo wants the Department of Interior to stop demolishing inactive offshore oil rigs until more study details the dangers to Gulf of Mexico fish species.

Palazzo joined U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner, R-Ala., in a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. They say the program is killing tens of thousands of pounds of fish, mainly red snapper, and jeopardizing habitats, which have been created by rigs found throughout the Gulf.

Palazzo and Bonner asked Salazar to stop the program. They want further study of how to handle the issue without harming the ecosystems formed around the rigs.

The Interior Department announced in late 2010 that oil and gas companies would be required to dismantle some 650 wells no longer in use.

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