In a report presented Thursday to the Senate Small Business Committee, the Obama administration asserts that the economic effects of the deepwater drilling moratorium have been far less severe than anticipated, mitigated in large part by the many jobs created through hiring cleanup crews as well as massive spending in the region by BP. In fact, the report finds no net loss of jobs in the region, an assertion that is being vigorously disputed by Louisiana Sens. Mary Landrieu and David Vitter.

The state’s Senate delegation points to what they’re calling a “de facto moratorium” on shallow-water drilling — less than a dozen such permits have been issued since the height of the spill compared to an average of 40 per month prior to the Deepwater Horizon explosion.

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