New Orleans, La. – Senator Landrieu told the National Oil Spill Commission at its first meeting in New Orleans that its findings will be key to drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. She made an unannounced visit to the commission, which she says will have a say in the national policy on off-shore drilling. The new rules clarify what safety steps are needed to resume drilling.
"The administration has left the door open to resume drilling operations sooner, which is good. But Gulf Coast businesses and investors still lack a date certain."
The two commission chairmen had said the panel would not be involved in the deepwater drilling moratorium issue. But it spent hours at its first meeting listening to industry concerns. Landrieu said that despite the BP spill, deepwater drilling should continue or 46,000 jobs will be at risk.
"Those rigs can leave. As you know they're very mobile and they will leave. We already have evidence and have been told that several of them have already signed contracts to leave the Gulf. And when they leave they will not be coming back anytime soon. It is an irreversible situation."
The commission is scheduled at its second meeting this week to hear from local mayors and others about the effects of the spill on communities and the environment.
For WWNO, I'm Eileen Fleming