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.
New Orleans, La. – Senator Landrieu says she's sympathetic to the administration's argument that it needs a leader in this tough economy. But she says the oil industry is stuck trying to deal with new rules enacted after the BP oil spill. Landrieu says she supports efforts to ensure drilling is safe.
"What I'm not supportive of is, under the guise of doing that, is - you know - shutting down drilling, which is a major industry, in the Gulf of Mexico."
New Orleans, La. – GNO president Michael Hecht says about half as many permits are being issued by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management for shallow-water drilling. Those rigs were not included in the drilling moratorium for deepwater operations, but are lagging behind numbers issued for the same time last year, and that's a concern.
New Orleans, La. – The report from the America's Wetland Foundation looks at 800 zip codes in coastal areas from Texas to Alabama. The group of government, energy and conservation groups says wetlands that protect inland areas are disappearing while storm damage is expected to get worse. Foundation managing director Val Marmillion (mar-MIL'-ee-un) says the study is a wake-up call.
New Orleans, La. – Coast Guard Rear Admiral Paul Zukunft says government teams are finding oil only in parts per billion in the water. Environmental groups are not so sure, saying more time is needed before the government issues an all-clear.
"At the peak of this spill, had we had a significant hurricane and a storm surge that could have brought all of this oil further inland, that would have been absolutely devastating. So in many respects Mother Nature was our benefactor."
New Orleans, La. – Despite academic researchers reporting oil covering parts of the Gulf seafloor, Coast Guard Rear Admiral Paul Zukunft says government scientists aren't seeing all that much much deepwater oil.
"I'm cautiously optimistic that the Gulf of Mexico is proving to be rather resilient after a spill of this magnitude."