Melancon pressing Dem leaders to allow drilling ban vote

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) office could not be reached for comment.

Melancon said the discussions are about “getting a vote on a moratorium amendment and trying to allay whatever concerns they may have.”

“I want to be able to hopefully be successful. This isn’t just a Don Quixote episode. This is about something that is very important to us,” he said. Melancon said there are ways to ease the ban while ensuring safeguards are met.

One option, he said, is using “rotating” inspections to allow rigs under contract to proceed with drilling after their check-up.

Melancon also suggested allowing rigs to drill through layers of rock while stopping 1,000 feet before they reach oil-and-gas reservoirs “just to make sure everything is on the up and up.”

“We keep the rigs drilling and we keep the people working and we don’t jeopardize the safety of the Gulf or the people that are on those rigs,” he said.