In passing the continuing resolution yesterday by a vote of 370-58, the House voted to let the statutory ban on offshore drilling expire. Reaction…
[Policy experts] and moderate Democrats said that once the moratoriums have been lifted, it’s unlikely that they could ever be reinstated wholesale — even under a Democratic Congress and president.
“Not if oil prices stay they way they’ve been,” said House Natural Resources Chairman Nick J. Rahall II, D-W.Va. Rahall sponsored a bill (HR 6899), which the House passed last week, that would allow drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific shores but with more restrictions than what would be allowed by letting the ban lapse entirely.
Not for lack of trying. From The Hill, “Liberal Democrats vow moratorium on offshore drilling to return in ’09.”
Asked whether the moratorium will resurface as an issue in the 111th Congress, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) said: “I expect it will be, and I expect that many of us will be pushing for a moratorium to [protect] our beautiful coastlines where it would be inappropriate to set up oil drilling.”
International Herald Tribune, “U.S. House passes $630 billion spending bill“:
Both sides say the future of offshore drilling will be decided by the next president, but even Democrats acknowledge that the far-reaching ban covering both ocean coasts will probably never be put back in its entirety, given that they agreed to some new limited offshore drilling.
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