(Editor's note: Moments ago, American Petroleum Institute President and CEO Jack Gerard warned that the administration's decision today not to allow offshore drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic and the Pacific in the government's next five-year drilling plan could result in the loss of tens of thousands of American jobs, billions less in government revenues and an increasing dependence on foreign energy sources. Below is the text of his statement.)
"As our country looks for ways out of the hole of lackluster economic growth and job creation, today's decision shows that this administration would rather keep digging than take the ladder to increased economic prosperity offered by developing our nation's domestic energy resources.
"The oil and natural gas industry is a reliable vehicle for growing the economy and creating good-paying jobs. This decision shuts the door on new development off our nation's coasts and effectively ensures that new American jobs will not be realized. It will stifle investment, deny billions in revenue for critical government services and increase our dependence on foreign energy sources.
"The oil and natural gas industry is committed to safe and environmentally responsible operations, and both the industry and regulators have added new safeguards to ensure such operations. This reversal on new lease sales off America's coasts comes on top of a de facto moratorium, which has all but stopped new drilling in the Gulf of Mexico."