Salazar, senior Interior officies to testify before spill commission

The members of the commission – appointed by President Obama – will issue recommendations to update federal oversight and safety requirements for offshore oil and gas drilling in the wake of the Gulf spill.

In the meantime, the department has banned further deepwater oil and gas drilling, a controversial move that has earned pushback from oil-state lawmakers in both parties.

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) Thursday announced she’s placing a “hold” – which means blocking a floor vote – on Senate confirmation of Jacob Lew to head the White House Office of Management and Budget.

Landrieu is demanding that the Obama administration lift or ease the federal freeze on deepwater drilling, and speed up permits for shallow water projects.

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