Senator David Vitter (R-LA) “is renewing his practice of blocking votes on Obama administration nominees in order to force the Interior Department to hurry up and issue offshore drilling permits,” POLITICO reports.
The Louisiana Republican Tuesday said he’ll place a hold on Dan Ashe, the nominee to head the Fish and Wildlife Service. He’s already blocking the nomination of Scott Doney to be chief scientist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Vitter said he wants at least 15 deepwater exploration well permits and for the department to answer his previous string of letters on the permitting process. Interior has issued various new rules on deepwater drilling since last year’s BP oil spill, and plans to issue new permits later this year.
Update: Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) issued a statement today saying she supports “Senator Vitter’s hold on the confirmation of a new director for the Fish and Wildlife Service until the Interior Department issues new deepwater permits.”