The Wall Street Journal is today reporting that the Obama administration could as early as tomorrow release new safety requirements that would reopen offshore oil and gas permitting in shallow waters.

The administration, however, continues to face widespread protest over the loss of jobs and income from a deepwater six-month drilling moratorium. The WSJ reports that the president got an earful of angry sentiment during his visit to the Gulf Coast Friday:

At a meeting at the New Orleans airport, Charlotte Randolph, president of Lafourche Parish, said she implored Mr. Obama for the second time in eight days to immediately lift the deepwater drilling moratorium. Billy Nungesser, president of Plaquemines Parish, suggested to the president he should deploy a federal official on every rig with the authority to shut it down at the first sign of trouble. Then he could lift the moratorium.
When neither of those ideas gained traction, Steve Theriot, president of Jefferson Parish, said he asked the president to lift the moratorium on every oil company but BP.

Read the WSJ story here.

Among local groups speaking out against the moratorium is the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce.

KLFY TV-10 reported Monday that chamber CEO Rob Guidry believes the president and Congress don’t understand what’s at stake if the moratorium isn’t lifted. “We know it was the slick that has destroyed our fishing industry, and we know it was the slick that is destroying our tourist industry, but we think it is Washington that is killing our oil and gas industry with this moratorium, and we are hoping to convince those in power into make that stop” Guidry told the station.

Chamber representatives are in Washington, the station reported, pushing an agenda that parallels Nungesser’s suggestion to have a federal inspector on board each rig 24 hours a day so that the moratorium could be removed. Read that story here.

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