Sen. David VitterDavid Bruce VitterBottom line Bottom line The biggest political upsets of the decade MORE (R-La.) is accusing the Obama administration of "leading with ideology and politics" instead of science on the deepwater oil drilling debate.

"Unfortunately, I think it is politics and ideology over sound science and common sense," Vitter said in an interview with the Fox Business Network. "The president...has also been attacking traditional energy, particularly oil and gas."

Vitter, a vocal critic of the administration's opposition to deepwater drilling, said he agreed with a recent court ruling that held the administration in contempt for its repeat imposition of a deepwater drilling moratorium.


On Wednesday, a Louisiana federal judge held the Interior Department in contempt for re-imposing a deepwater-oil drilling ban after the judge had struck down an earlier version of the moratorium last year.

Judge Martin Feldman’s ruling requires the department to pay attorneys' fees in the case against last year’s drilling ban that was brought by several offshore oil services companies.

That second ban, which the administration put in place in July, was lifted in October, but permitting for deepwater projects has not resumed yet as the Interior is requiring companies to meet tougher safety standards put in place after the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

That "permit log jam" amounts to a "de facto moratorium," Vitter said.

"The Obama administration is virtually issuing no permits, costing us jobs every day," he added.

And with much of the discussion in Washington focused on getting the federal deficit under control, Vitter said expanding domestic energy production, including oil, would bring in more revenue for the federal government.

"With a horrible deficit and spending and debt crisis, guess what else we're driving away? Major federal revenue, because after the U.S. income tax, the biggest category of federal revenue are energy royalties. And we are pushing that beneath the floor," he said.