New Orleans, La. – The Republican lawmaker says up to 60,000 jobs are at risk if the oil industry leaves the Gulf. He suggests that drilling continue, but stop just before hitting oil reserves.
"Once the moratorium ends and if we allow them to resume drilling, at least the time gap is not wasted. But at the same time we're able to keep the rigs here and keep jobs here rather than have them go someplace else and not returning for years."
Fellow Republican Congressman Darrell Issa of California isn't convinced just yet.
"We have to make sure that we can drill but we have to make sure we can drill safely - something that right now we want more answers before we'll feel that safe drilling is assured."
Issa is a ranking member on a House committee investigating government oversight.
For NPR News, I'm Eileen Fleming in New Orleans.