Deep-water drilling moratorium continues to generate political friction

04 15, 2012 by The Times-Picayune

There's more friction between the Republican-led House Resources Committee and the Obama administration over the deep-water drilling moratorium the administration ordered after the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Spencer Pederson, spokesman for Committee Chairman Doc Hastings, R-Wash., accused the Interior Department of failing to comply with a subpoena seeking documents about an Interior Department report recommending the moratorium.

The report made it seem that some outside experts agreed with the moratorium, which wasn't the case. The administration blamed it on an inadvertent, late-night editing mistake and corrected the report after the experts complained.

The Interior Department's inspector general said he could find no evidence the department was seeking to intentionally mislead the public or Congress. The Interior Department's Congressional and Legislative Affairs Director Christopher Mansour offered 164 pages of documents and said more would be forthcoming this week. He called the committee's subpoena request an "unnecessary and precipitous step that came despite the department's "good-faith efforts." T

he Interior Department also accused the House committee of wasting resources investigating an issue that was resolved two years ago instead of acting on legislation sought by the Obama administration to "enhance offshore oil and gas enforcement and safety" nearly two years after the BP disaster.