House Passes Compromise Offshore Drilling Bill, Makes No One Happy

By Eliza Strickland | September 17, 2008 10:00 am

offshore oil drillingThe House of Representatives passed an energy bill including a provision that will allow for more oil and gas drilling off U.S. coastlines, but the compromise measure doesn’t go far enough to please Republicans, and doesn’t include enough protections to mollify environmentalists. The bill would allow drilling as close as 50 miles from the coastline if adjacent states agree and 100 miles out no matter a state’s position [The New York Times].

The bill faces significant hurdles to becoming law: The Senate must vote on its own version of the energy bill, which is expected to place much more conservative limits on offshore drilling, then the two bills must be reconciled, and finally the finished product must be sent to the unwelcoming White House. President Bush, who has called for ending the offshore drilling bans, signaled he would veto the legislation if it reached his desk, arguing that it would stifle offshore oil development instead of increasing it [AP]. Lawmakers also have a strict time limit, as Congress is scheduled to adjourn on September 26.

Although Republicans have led the charge on pushing for offshore drilling, the bill proposed and pushed through by the Democrats doesn’t go nearly far enough to satisfy those on the right side of the aisle. Republicans generally want to allow new drilling starting 3 miles from shore [CNN], so Republican leaders criticized the bill for banning all drilling within 50 miles of the coast, and for not giving states any financial incentive to permit drilling beyond 50 miles. The bill “is nothing more than hoax on the American people and they will not buy it,” said House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio [San Francisco Chronicle].

Meanwhile, conservation groups reacted to the bill with outrage, saying that the provisions it includes to encourage the development of renewable energy sources are overshadowed by the relaxation of the drilling rules, which environmentalists painted as a give-away to “Big Oil.” “As it stands, the clean energy provisions in this bill are dwarfed by the push for outdated, dirty and expensive energy,” said Natural Resources Defense Council President Frances Beinecke [Reuters].

Image: flickr/jurvetson

Related Posts: Gore Calls for a Clean Energy “Revolution” While Congress Warms to Offshore Drilling
President Bush Symbolically Lifts Ban on Offshore Drilling
You Know What This Spot Could Use? An Oil Well

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment
  • chilton

    well what it sounds like is that if an oil company wants the oil it will get it no matter what if they just put thei rig out a hundred miles from the shore, and dont kid yourselves they know how to make that drill twist and turn whichever direction theywant it to once its under the ground, I’d be criticizing the fact that they can go out that far and nobody coud stop them.
    hopefully more hurricanes come and destroy all the refinerys anyways, the higher the prices go the faster people stop buying the fuel, the more fuel we DON’T buy the less money the oil companies get, and the faster people would realize that every little bit counts, so if you have a creek running through your property collect the water for a small hydro electric station(you can collect the water in a non enviromentally invasive matter) got sun?? use solar power the more of this stuff that everyday people buy for themselves the cheaper and better it gets. remember ten years ago? nobody could get a gigabyte for a hard drive and now computers come standard with 200 for a fraction of the price. we all have to stop thinking the government is going to find a solution for us, they wont, they are run by oil companies not you or I, if anybody is so naive to think that the governments aren’t in the hands of oil companies they should get a reality check or shoot themselves cuz they aren’t doing the world any good
    if every person in North America would buy just ONE solar pannel for a thousand dollars the price of your next solar pannel will be pennies
    and the savings for EVERYBODY would be gargantuan save for politicians and oil and gas companies TRUST me if you don’t hand your money to gas companies they cant afford to spend billions on their next drilling platform
    so stop whinning and DO somthing I don’t want to hear this shit anymore get your asses in gear or fall behind but don’t waste my valuable brain space thinking about how DUMB and hopeless everyone else is because they are lazy and believe even I can power my own home on reneweable resources and I didn’t even graduate high school so think about that!!!

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