Posted: Nov 22, 2010 6:22 PM by Melissa Hawkes
Updated: Nov 22, 2010 6:23 PM
State lawmakers and industry officials were hopeful going into Monday's meeting with U.S. Interior Secretary Salazar.
U.S. Congressman of Louisiana's third congressional district, Jeff Landry, said "we were anticipating that we were going to see some final relief in the permitting process."
President of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association, Don Briggs, said "I had the idea and hopes Secretary Salazar and Michael Bromich were going to come up with new ideas and let us know we'd be able to go back to work and get new permits."
Instead officials heard this from Secretary Salazar-- "Michael Bromich has been working very hard to stand up a regulatory agency that will allow permitting to move forward."
Briggs said, "they used the terms we'll try, we are working on, we are hopeful."
Briggs said Secretary Salazar's visit was a waste of taxpayer dollars.
"They came down here with their dog and pony show," he said. "It meant absolutely nothing to anybody."
Briggs says companies in Louisiana can't hang on much longer.
"Companies are paying a lot of people to be on stand by, hoping that we are going to go back to work and that's not happening, " he said.
James Noe Vice President of Hercules Offshore, said "the workers behind me...they'll soon go idle. If you look around me, there's idle boats and equipment. "
Noe said something needs to happen soon.
He explained, "if they wait much onger, they won't have an industry to regulate."
Secretary Salazar did make one promise....he'll be back in December to meet with officials once again.