Vitter: Approval of First Deepwater Permit a Start, Need to See More

March 2, 2011

Vitter says he'll continue blocking DOI nominee Dan Ashe until 15 permits are issued

(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Sen. David Vitter made the following statement regarding the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) announcement of its approval of the first deepwater drilling permit since the Deepwater Horizon explosion.

“There are concerns of $4.00 per gallon gasoline in the near future, and while one deepwater permit is a start, it is by no means reason to celebrate. I’m still demanding that the Obama administration allow at least 15 deepwater drilling permits
before I release my hold on an Interior Department nominee. The Interior Department has destroyed jobs in Louisiana, has contributed to the bankruptcy of at least one major employer and is breaching contracts with other employers while potentially putting taxpayers on the hook for billions of dollars,” Vitter said.

Senator Vitter has a hold on Dan Ashe, President Obama’s nominee to head the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the Department of the Interior, until the department issues at least fifteen deepwater exploration well permits and complies with his other previous requests for answers on the permitting process. Vitter has the support of his Democrat colleague, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La).

The permit has been issued to Noble Energy for a well approximately 70 miles southeast of Venice, La.

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