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Critics Lambast Obama Administration Following Lift Of Drilling Ban

October 19, 2010 by  

Critics lambast Obama administration following lift of drilling banPresident Barack Obama and his administration are being challenged by critics from both political parties following the announcement that the moratorium on deepwater oil drilling will be lifted.

According to media reports, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said on Oct. 12 that the drilling freeze put in place following the Gulf oil disaster will end several weeks before the original expiration date. The government imposed the moratorium because of the potential threats that drilling could pose to marine, coastal and human environments.

In a press release from the Department of Interior, Salazar stated that deepwater oil and gas drilling can resume only if operators comply with existing rules, including new requirements that recently went into effect.

House Natural Resources Committee member Representative Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) was one of several Republicans to speak out against the announcement, according to TheHill.com.

“The question remains, will the Obama administration actually allow drilling work to resume or is this just pre-election rhetoric?” he told the news provider.

The New York Times reports that Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La.) said the lift is "a step in the right direction," but she would like more clarity about the rules and how they will effect drilling permits. In protest against the moratorium, Landrieu has blocked Obama's nomination of Jack Lew as White House budget director. Following the lift announcement, the Senator said she would continue to oppose the President's nomination until she receives more answers.

“When Congress reconvenes for the lame-duck session next month, I will have had several weeks to evaluate if today’s lifting of the moratorium is actually putting people back to work,” she told the news provider.

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