Democrat Senator Landrieu halts nomination of Jack Lew as Director of the WH Office of Budget & Management
The political game is a strange one. Landrieu is doing this in an attempt, she says, to “get the President’s attention” as regards the effects of the drilling moratorium.
In fact, though, even if there were no official moratorium, there could be an effective moratorium, in that all the administration has to do is order MMS to refrain from issuing permits, which is basically what’s happening right now with shallow-water permits. This article says only 5 shallow-water permits have been issued since the beginning of the moratorium in May (4 months ago), whereas previously they were issuing 10 shallow-water permitsa month.
The economic effects have not been as bad as predicted, but that doesn’t mean there’s been no effect. The reasons the economic effects have not been as dire as predicted are:
1) the evil oil companies have hung onto many of their employees, and are trying to parcel out what little work is available so that folks get a chance to continue to get a paycheck, and
2) the impact to the fishing industry was much less than expected, THANK GOODNESS.
WASHINGTON — Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana on Thursday placed a hold on an Obama administration nominee to protest the six-month deepwater drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico.
In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Landrieu said she is blocking the nomination of Jack Lew as director of the White House Office of Budget and Management until the administration reverses or modifies its drilling policies.
Though placing holds on nominees occurs, it usually involves opposing parties blocking the appointment. Protesting a Democratic administration, Landrieu expressed exasperation with the drilling ban that was instituted on May 28 and is set to extend through Nov. 30.
“I cannot in good conscience allow this nomination to proceed until I receive a commitment from Mr. Lew, the President or another senior economic advisor to reverse these policies, which have been so detrimental to working families across the Gulf Coast,” Landrieu wrote in the letter.
In response, OMB officials said Lew has received overwhelming, bipartisan support from senators that approved his appointment in committee.
“Especially during this critical time in our economy and in our fiscal situation, the Senate should move quickly to vote on his confirmation before it recesses at the end of the month,” OMB Spokesman Kenneth Baer said in a statement.
Landrieu’s move was cheered by oil industry advocates like Jim Noe of the Shallow Water Energy Coalition. In addition to the deepwater ban affecting 33 rigs, Noe and others have protested what they are calling a de facto moratorium of shallow water drilling in less than 500 feet.
The administration has approved five shallow water permits since the ban took effect. It usually approves over 10 permits a month, Noe said.