Speaking after a town hall meeting in Vidalia today, Sen. David Vitter voiced his support for the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee issuing subpoenas to the Obama Administration for correspondences with the National Academy of Engineers that led a to report from the Interior Department calling for a six-month drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico following the BP oil spill disaster.
The Interior Department is using executive privilege to keep committee members from seeing the emails they want and a subsequent subpoena has been issued to the Inspector’s General office for the exchanges.
The report referenced a peer-review from engineers as playing a part in the need to enact the moratorium. The problem is that engineers have said since that they were never in favor of halting oil and gas drilling in the Gulf and, in fact, were against it.
Rep. Jeff Landry, a member of the House Natural Resources Committee, was the first to call for subpoenas to the Obama Administration and for an unredacted report that includes what the Academy of Engineers really advised regarding the moratorium.
Vitter, like Landry, believes that administration officials altered the original document to deceive the public into thinking there was substantive reasons for drilling in the Gulf to stop:
This kind of language from Vitter is not surprising, of course. He has already joined a couple of his fellow senators in basically calling Interior Secretary Ken Salazar a liar and blocked the man from getting a pay raise until his department started issuing permits for new deepwater exploratory wells at a pre-moratorium rate of six per month.
The Senate Ethics Committee later dismissed a charge that Vitter violated the federal bribery statute by voting to deny the $20,000 pay raise for Salazar. Vitter has also called for administration officials to be brought before a Senate panel to answer questions about the moratorium—-which was refused.
While the nation is distracted by things like the Trayvon Martin case, this drilling moratorium cover-up scandal is what really merits media coverage and I, at least, plan to dig deeper.
In a time when the nation is facing massive unemployment and sky-rocketing gas prices, could we really have a president that used a national crisis as an excuse to pull the plug on energy production in the Gulf?
Sure looks to be the case, especially when his administration is refusing to hand over emails that would settle the matter.
And didn’t his former chief-of-staff have a thing or two to say about never wasting a good crisis?
There is other video from Vitter’s town hall meeting today that is worth posting and it should be up later.