Washington (CNN) - Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin said Monday that because of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, he is "sure that this administration will come out with new standards for safety when it comes to any offshore drilling in the future."
"We're going to hold ourselves to very high standards because of this tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico. It's a good indication of the price that you pay if you don't," Durbin said in a conference call with reporters.
Asked if he could support new offshore drilling in the leading energy proposals from the Obama administration and key senators, Durbin acknowledged, "It's a hard case to make until you can get down to the safety issues."
Durbin, who has historically opposed offshore drilling, said he and other lawmakers have much to learn about new technologies that could have prevented the spill in the Gulf, such as an acoustic system that could trigger a plug for the blown well.
"There's a lot to be learned by members and perhaps new standards when it comes to off-shore drilling," Durbin said. "I don't think we're going to eliminate offshore drilling in the future, but any future offshore drilling is going to be held to much higher safety standards."