Landrieu Secures Meeting with Secretary Salazar, La. Leaders to Discuss Drilling Moratorium

June 16, 2010

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., secured a meeting today with Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and a broad coalition of leaders from Louisiana, led by Lt. Gov. Scott Angelle. The meeting allowed Sen. Landrieu and the coalition from Louisiana to press the Obama Administration to shorten the current six-month moratorium on all deepwater drilling operations.

“I would like to thank Secretary Salazar for meeting with us today and listening to the concerns of Louisianians about the devastating impact a prolonged moratorium would have on the Gulf Coast,” Sen. Landrieu said. “It is important that this administration hear directly from the people who are on the front lines fighting for our working coast. We all want to ensure that a tragedy like the one unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico never happens again. We just cannot afford to cripple the Gulf Coast region’s economy to do it.”

“I am thankful to Senator Landrieu for securing an opportunity to personally advise Secretary Salazar on how devastating this moratorium will be on coastal Louisiana and indeed all of America,” said Lt. Gov. Angelle. “We realize it can’t be business as usual, but in America we can do two things at one time, drilling and inspecting for safety can be a reality. I remain hopeful that our pleas for an expedited process will be implemented. I believe that having the Presidential Commission housed on the campus of Nicholls State University in Thibodeaux or at the Naval air base in Plaquemines Parish will accelerate the nation’s safety review of OCS drilling.”

Also attending the meeting as part of the Louisiana coalition were:

•Gordy Dove, Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee
•Norby Chabert, State Senator, Lafourche and Terrebonne Parishes
•King Milling, Chair of the Governor’s Advisory Committee on Coastal Protection and Restoration and Chair of America’s Wetland Foundation
•Charlotte Randolph, Lafourche Parish President and Chairperson of Parishes Against Coastal Erosion
•Chett Chiasson, Port Director of Port Fourchon
•Kurt Mesche, VP South Central Industrial Association and VP Gulf Island Fabricators
•Ken Wells, Executive Director of Offshore Marine Operators Association
•Dr. Loren Scott, LSU Economist
•Lori Leblanc, Deputy Director, La. Department of Natural Resources
•Ted Falgout, Governor’s Advisory Committee on Coastal Protection and Restoration

Last week, Sen. Landrieu sent a letter to President Obama outlining a series of steps to safely move forward with offshore energy production without imposing an arbitrary six-month drilling moratorium that could cost Gulf Coast residents tens of thousands of jobs.

In the letter, Sen. Landrieu acknowledged the importance of ensuring another accident of this magnitude can never happen again. But rather than endorsing a six-month “pause” for deepwater drilling operations in federal waters, Sen. Landrieu identified eight recommendations that could achieve the Administration’s safety and oversight goals without crippling Gulf states’ economies
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