Drilling Ban Lifted, Landrieu Wants More

Just before Congress split town for the campaign trail, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) placed an absurd and irresponsible hold on the president's nominee for OMB Director, Jack Lew. Despite Lew's "[clear possession of] the expertise necessary to serve as one of the President's most important economic advisors," Landrieu declared that she would block the nomination "until the moratorium on deepwater oil and gas drilling is lifted or significantly modified." She also said that she will continue the hold until she "is convinced that the President and his Administration understand the detrimental impacts that the actual and de facto moratoria continue to have on the Gulf Coast." (Whatever that means)

In her initial press release and in a letter to the editor of the Washington Post, Landrieu elaborated on her reasons for blocking Lew:

The deep-water moratorium has become a de facto shallow-water drilling ban affecting thousands of small businesses across the gulf, the vast majority of which have nothing to do with drilling.

But now that the Obama Administration has lifted the deep water drilling ban, Landrieu has moved the goalposts:

Today's decision is a good start, but it must be accompanied by an action plan to get the entire industry in the Gulf of Mexico back to work. This means that the administration must continue to accelerate the granting of permits in shallow and deep water, and provide greater certainty about the rules and regulations industry must meet.

Landrieu's demands have gone from just lifting the deepwater drilling moratorium to implementing a plan to put the Gulf of Mexico oil industry back to work. What else will she try to extract from the Obama Administration when that ransom is paid?

Image by Flickr user the queen of subtle used under a Creative Commons license.

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