Landrieu threatens other stalling tactics if Interior disregards drilling pledges

Landrieu did not attend the meeting, which in addition to Salazar and Bromwich included Assistant Interior Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Tom Strickland, Vitter, state and local Louisiana officials and offshore oil-and-gas producers. But a Landrieu aide said Salazar did not articulate promises he personally made to her in meetings last week.
 
Those promises led her to lift on Thursday her months-long hold on President Obama’s nomination of Jacob Lew to head the Office of Management and Budget. They included the processing of five to seven shallow-water drilling permits and a pledge to hold regular meetings with industry officials, the aide said.
 
Salazar did promise the industry officials Monday that he would meet with them again in December, according to Jim Noe, executive director of the Shallow Water Energy Security Coalition.
 
But if Salazar does not follow through on that and other pledges he made to Landrieu, she is threatening to use other means to press the administration.
 
“The holding of Jack Lew’s nomination was just one strategy, and unfortunately that option was coming to an end,” Landrieu said. “I was assured a clear path forward was imminent, and I hope it still is. However, there are many other tools at our disposal, and our delegation will use every one to send the message that it is harmful to our economy and our national security to keep this industry in the dark and on the sidelines.”
 
She added that they “now have this administration’s attention, but the fight is not over.”
 
A Landrieu aide added, “I think she knows what’s at her disposal as a senator.”
 
The procedural hurdles Landrieu can toss up — including standing in the way of attempts to adjourn the Senate — have their limits. As Landrieu acknowledged, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was poised to have a vote on Lew's nomination regardless of whether she actually lifted her hold shortly before the Senate adjourned for the Thanksgiving break last Thursday.