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Landrieu Says She Won’t Budge on OMB Hold

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) said today she stands by her hold on President Obama’s nominee for White House Office of Management and Budget director because the administration has yet to overturn its moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

Landrieu, who has been a vehement opponent of the drilling ban, has come under fire this week from many in her own party — including Senate Democrats and administration officials — over the hold on Jack Lew, the OMB nominee. But, in a floor speech today, she said she won’t budge.

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.[...]

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.

Landrieu’s hold comes as the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is expected this week to release new rules on offshore drilling that will likely determine the fate of the moratorium. But the hold puts the administration in a difficult position. Even though administration officials have said they expect to end the moratorium early, they likely don’t want to be seen as giving in to Landrieu’s demands.

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