Drilling can continue, but Landrieu still blocking Lew nomination

In September, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) said she was putting a hold on Jack Lew’s nomination to head the Office of Management and Budget because of the Obama administration’s moratorium on deepwater oil and gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Even though the drilling ban was lifted Tuesday, Landrieu said she will not lift her block on Lew’s nomination.

The six-month drilling moratorium, which started in May, would directly impact jobs in her state, Landrieu argued.

In a release Tuesday, the senator said the decision to allow drilling to continue was “a good start.”

“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 said in the release.

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Landrieu said she will spend the weeks before Congress reconvenes for the lame duck session to “evaluate if today’s lifting of the moratorium is actually putting people back to work.”