Key Senators Object to Longer Oil Exploration Reviews


"Sens. Mary Landrieu, Lisa Murkowski claim extensions are 'unnecessary.'"

Two influential U.S. senators are objecting to proposals to lengthen the time that offshore drilling regulators have to review oil exploration plans.

Sens. Mary Landrieu (D., La.) and Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska) said in a letter circulated Tuesday that proposals in Congress to extend the federal government's review of exploration plans from 30 days to 90 days are "unnecessary."

"We cannot in good conscience legitimize this inexcusable delay," the senators said in a letter to members of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The senators' letter coincides with draft legislative proposals in the U.S. House of Representatives that extend this review time to 90 days, Jim Noe, executive director of the Shallow Water Energy Security Coalition, said.

Landrieu, in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, has expressed concern about the impacts of reduced exploration, drilling and production in the Gulf of Mexico. She has criticized the administration's moratorium on deepwater drilling, which has since been lifted, and has decried the speed at which the Interior Department has issued shallow-water drilling permits.

A spokeswoman for the Interior Department was not available for comment.

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