U.S. House Votes to Expand Offshore Oil Drilling

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Note from Christi:

It’s been 5 years since Congress approved lifting a formal ban on offshore drilling. Because Obama has refused to subsequently consider expanding offshore oil leases, the U.S. House passed legislation this morning that will require him to do so. If Obama wishes to take credit for the big uptick in energy production coincidentally happening on his watch, he should be willing to consider safe, responsible drilling measures.


By: Tennille Tracy and Keith Johnson, The Wall Street Journal

WASHINGTON–The U.S. House voted Friday to open up the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans to oil and natural gas drilling, passing a bill that has little chance of becoming law but marks the latest effort by Republicans to portray President Barack Obama as an enemy of fossil fuels.

The bill forces the Obama administration to offer drilling leases off the coasts of Virginia, South Carolina and California. The administration has not offered leases in these areas although Congress lifted a formal ban on drilling there in 2008.

The bill also directs the Obama administration to revise its five-year leasing plan, which determines which areas will be offered for new drilling in the next five years. Separately, it allows coastal states to collect a portion of federal energy royalties.

The Republican-led House passed a similar piece of legislation last year.

The White House threatened to veto the measure, saying “the bill would undermine the targeted, science-based, and regionally-tailored offshore development strategy” that is currently in effect.

The bill’s passage, by a 235-186 vote, followed the release earlier this week of Mr. Obama’s new climate change plan. The initiative included new rules to limit carbon dioxide emissions from new and existing power plants.

Read the full article here.