Letting the Drilling Ban Lapse: A Congressional Success

By September 23, 2008Energy

From Bloomberg, “Democrats Dropping Offshore Drilling Ban, Obey Says“:

Sept. 23 (Bloomberg) — A 26-year ban on offshore oil drilling will be dropped as part of a year-end spending bill, said House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey.

Eliminating the ban will allow the measure, which funds government operations through March 6, to get through Congress and be signed into law by President George W. Bush, Obey said.

“At least temporarily, the moratorium is lifted,” Obey told reporters. “This next election will decide what our drilling policy is going to be.”

Letting the statutory ban lapse would be a remarkable legislative success, achieved strangely enough because Congress failed to pass a single appropriations bill. And all due credit to the House Republicans who elevated the issue with their protests throughout the month of August.

As for the elections affecting the future of the ban, we’re not sure that would be the case. The need for increased domestic energy production demands expanded OCS development, no matter who wins in November.

AP story covers the same territory.

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