New Orleans, La. – Senator Landrieu says she withdrew her hold on the nomination of Jack Lew after she met with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. She explained her change of action on the Senate floor last night after Lew was confirmed.
"I'm told there will be additional permits issued in the coming week. The Secretary has also committed to me that he himself will be in the Gulf Coast - in Louisiana actually - on Monday, expressing his commitment in no uncertain terms to the future robustness of this industry."
Landrieu has blocked Lew's nomination since July. The moratorium was enacted in late May in reaction to the BP oil spill April 20th. She says the hold was her only leverage to focus the administration on lifting the deepwater drilling moratorium. That ban was lifted in October, but she says permits for deepwater and shallow operations have been stalled by unclear regulations. Lew was unanimously approved on a voice vote.
For WWNO, I'm Eileen Fleming