The Obama administration will issue a “handful” of deep-water oil drilling permits the near future, a cabinet official said Wednesday.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said the permits would be coming as he faced more questions from U.S. lawmakers about pending applications to drill in the Gulf of Mexico.
“We have in hand in a number of other permits that we expect to issue very soon in the deep water,” Salazar said at a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies. “These first permits hopefully will become a template allowing other deep-water permits to be issued.”
Salazar’s comments came as the Obama administration appeals a ruling from a federal judge who has ordered it to act on pending permits.