Vitter gets his facts wrong
The nonpartisan, watchdog website, FactCheck.org, singled out U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-La., for mangling and exaggerating the facts on the 2010 Gulf of Mexico drilling moratorium imposed after the BP oil disaster.
The moratorium was the subject of much attention last week on Capitol Hill as Republican congressmen held hearings to scrutinize whether the White House misrepresented information in an effort to justify the moratorium.
FactCheck.org took issue with an email Vitter sent supporters for getting the facts wrong himself.
Vitter claimed “the Obama administration shut down the entire offshore oil and gas industry” after the BP oil leak.
“That’s not true,” the website said.
President Barack Obama halted the drilling only of all new wells for one month and then the six-month moratorium also stopped new wells.
Existing wells continued to operate and kept pumping oil and natural gas. The permitting process for new shallow wells was slowed by new safety requirements, but not completely halted, according to FactCheck.org.
The Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association, a trade group, at the time said the deepwater drilling moratorium did “not affect the 4,515 shallow-water wells, and … 591 producing deepwater Gulf wells.” The association said the moratorium halted work on 33 exploratory wells, although the U.S. Interior Department later said the order idled only 21 rigs, according to the site.
Landry opposes drones
U.S. Rep. Jeff Landry, R-New Iberia, continued last week to push for legislation banning the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from using flyovers to survey “American farmers.”
“I don’t want the EPA harassing American farmers,” Landry said, adding, “I’m an anti-drone Republican.”
The problem with that statement is the EPA is not using any unmanned “drones” domestically.
The EPA readily admits it occasionally uses piloted flights in small planes to check for blatant instances of pollution and violations of the federal Clean Water Act by large cattle producers and such. This primarily occurs in Nebraska and Iowa.
Landry, however, considers it a “civil liberties” issue and contends the EPA should have to get court approval for such flights. He contends it is an issue of the federal government acting “above the law” and putting environmental concerns before American civil liberties.
The “Aerial Surveillance Amendment” was successfully passed in committee last week and can eventually head to the House floor for consideration.
Global Strike Command to stay
Vitter had good news for the Shreveport area when he received a commitment to keep the Global Strike Command and its jobs at Barksdale Air Force Base.
Vitter, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, made the announcement after meeting with Gen. Mark Welsh, the nominee to be the next Air Force chief of staff.
Vitter said he will support Welsh’s confirmation now that Welsh committed to keep the command post at Barksdale.
Welsh also pledged to keep the A-10s and B-52s at Barksdale a priority, according to Vitter, particularly in the case of impending defense cuts that take effect in January unless Congress acts.
“I’m confident now that Gen. Welsh recognizes Barksdale as an integral component of U.S. defense operations and the importance of keeping the Global Strike Command at the base,” Vitter said in his announcement. “I’ll be urging my colleagues to support him as well.”
The Global Strike Command coordinates the Air Force’s nuclear mission and is one of 10 major commands of the U.S. Air Force.
Barksdale is home to approximately 8,000 Air Force personnel overall.
Cassidy open house
U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, is inviting the public to visit with him Thursday morning in Baton Rouge with questions or concerns.
He is hosting open hours from 9 a.m. to noon at his district office at 5555 Hilton Ave., Suite 100.
Anyone with questions can contact Cassidy’s district office at (225) 929-7711.
Compiled by Jordan Blum, chief of The Advocate Washington bureau. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.