As the Senate prepares to recess until after the November election, United States Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., today announced that she will not lift her hold on the nomination of Jack Lew to be the Obama Administration's Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Sen. Landrieu plans to go to the Senate floor later today to discuss her hold in more detail.
Sen. Landrieu said:
“My hold on Mr. Lew’s nomination will remain for the same reason it was placed originally: the Administration has not acted to lift its ill-conceived moratoria on offshore drilling that are having such a devastating impact on working people and small businesses throughout the Gulf Coast. Everyone, especially those who live along the coast, wants offshore energy production safety standards strengthened. But we have been able to demonstrate that the oil and gas industry can improve safety progressively over time, without a complete work stoppage. The Administration seems to believe that no new exploration should be allowed to proceed until every single offshore operation is in compliance with 100 percent of the revised rules, which aren’t even final. That is an unworkable framework and an unreasonable standard.
“What is clear is that the Administration, for whatever reason, has stood in defiance of our federal courts and disregarded economists, experts and its own economic data in proceeding down a path that is putting thousands of people out of work and hurting the bottom line of hundreds of small businesses. The evidence is overwhelming that this moratorium is a poor economic policy and has achieved no safety improvements that could not have been achieved in its absence. Yet, the President and his key advisers have never acknowledged that fact. And most disturbing to me and others, who are firmly committed to energy security for our nation, they also seem to ignore the reality that America needs domestic oil and gas production well into the future.
“I give the Obama Administration and Secretary Mabus credit for their vision and commitment to a long-term plan to restore our coast. I look forward to continuing to be their partner in this effort. But work to save our wetlands cannot and will not succeed without a short-term plan to save the Gulf Coast’s economy. Simply put, you cannot have coastal restoration without a coastal economy.”