(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Sen. David Vitter made the following statement regarding the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) announcement of its approval of another deepwater drilling permit.

“This drilling permit is welcome news, but a mere drop in the bucket for where we need to be,” Vitter said. “I’ll continue my hold on the Obama’s Interior Department nominee until at least 15 new deepwater exploration well permits are approved. The de facto moratorium has destroyed jobs in Louisiana, contributed to the bankruptcy of at least one major employer, forced layoffs at others, and could force everyone to have to pay for $4 for a gallon of gasoline.”

Senator Vitter has a hold on Dan Ashe, President Obama’s nominee to head the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the Department of the Interior, until the department issues at least fifteen deepwater exploration well permits and complies with his other previous requests for answers on the permitting process. Vitter has the support of his Democrat colleague, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu.

The permit was awarded to ATP Oil & Gas Corporation’s Well approximately 90 miles south of Venice, La.

Vitter has also raised concerns over the Interior Department’s misleading reports about the number of permits it has issued.