U.S. Sen. David Vitter today made the following comments in response to President Obama's remarks at a press conference about gas prices and domestic energy exploration:
"The gap continues to widen between what President Obama claims to be true about domestic energy production and what Louisianians know is true," said Vitter. "With prices at the pump climbing toward $4.00 per gallon, the president is asking us to believe that his administration supports expanded drilling off the Gulf Coast. I guess that's true only if you don't actually need a permit."
The Interior Department has only issued one permit for deepwater exploration since last April, for a rig that was already active at the time of the BP oil spill. Vitter last week called on the White House to increase domestic production to create American jobs rather than "begging" Saudi Arabia to increase its production.
As a leader in the U.S. Senate on energy policy, Vitter has been a vocal advocate for expanding domestic energy production and decreasing our reliance on foreign sources of energy. Vitter has been on the front lines of the fight to end the de facto moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico and currently has a hold on a key Interior Department nominee and a NOAA nominee until the administration issues at least 15 deepwater permits.