GOP Rep. John Peterson’s latest bid to lift domestic offshore drilling restrictions, which I blogged earlier today here, was killed this afternoon by the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and the Environment. It was a straight, party line vote.
Chair: Norman D. Dicks (WA)
James P. Moran (VA)
Maurice D. Hinchey (NY)
John W. Olver (MA)
Alan B. Mollohan (WV)
Tom Udall (NM)
Ben Chandler (KY)
Ed Pastor (AZ)
Dave Obey (WI), Ex Officio
Todd Tiahrt (KS)
John E. Peterson (PA)
Jo Ann Emerson (MO)
Virgil H. Goode, Jr. (VA)
Ken Calvert (CA)
Jerry Lewis (CA), Ex Officio
The Republicans on the subcommittee vow to keep pressing the issue:
A 27-year-old federal moratorium has prevented offshore drilling in most coastal waters except parts of the Gulf of Mexico.
Virginia lawmakers have expressed interest in pursuing drilling, particularly for natural gas.
Peterson, who is retiring next year, said offshore drilling could provide enough oil to replace Middle East oil imports for 35 years. He said the plan would also yield an 18-year supply of natural gas.
“There is no valid reason for Congress to continue keeping Americans from the offshore resources they own,” Peterson said.
But Democrats, who control Congress, said offshore drilling would have no immediate effect on the price of gasoline and would do little to lower the world price of oil.
“We are kidding ourselves, as we routinely do in this town, if we think we can drill our way out of this problem,” said Rep. Dave Obey, D-Wis.
…”The American people are going to have a lot to say about this,” said Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Calif., the ranking Republican on the full House Appropriations Committee.
Have your say. The Congressional switchboard number: 202-224-3121.