Late yesterday, word came from the House that a bipartisan compromise has been struck among all interested parties to the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) debate. Apparently, the various players in this effort have coalesced around a plan called the Deep Ocean Energy Resources (DOER) Act. Among other provisions, it:
— Codifies the existing moratorium, banning exploration within 50 miles of the coast. However, it allows states to opt out of the moratorium.
— It allows states a year to decide what they want to do about the area from 50 – 100 miles form the coast. If they don’t act, natural gas leasing can occur.
— States will be allowed to keep the moratorium by a simple vote of their legislatures.
— The bill sets out an elaborate schedule for revenue sharing between the federal and state governments for the sums received from these leases.
These are the highlights. Click here for a summary from the House Resources Committee. Our thanks again to Resources Chairman Richard Pombo (R-CA) for his leadership, to Rep. John Peterson (R-PA) for his tenacity and to Rep. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) for also keeping this ball moving. All are doing their part to bring down energy prices for us all. We owe them a debt of gratitude.
We’ll keep you posted, but it looks now like this will be the bill marked up by the Resources Committee tomorrow.
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