WASHINGTON — The Republican-controlled House endorsed a plan Thursday to vastly expand oil and gas drilling off the nation’s coasts to help pay for a $260 billion transportation bill.
The legislation has no chance of passing the Senate and faces a White House veto. But for Republicans, the 237-187 vote showed they’re willing to go further to boost U.S. energy production than President Barack Obama. Obama lately has embraced increased oil and gas production on the campaign trail, and has touted how the U.S. in recent years has produced record amounts of oil and natural gas.
“The bill we are considering … is an action plan that clearly contrasts President Obama’s anti-energy policies with the pro-energy, pro-American jobs policies of Republicans,” said Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee.
The legislation, which 21 Republicans voted against and 21 Democrats voted for, would open the eastern Gulf of Mexico off Florida and areas off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to drilling, lift a ban on drilling in a small portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and order leases to be offered for Western oil shale.
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source: Associated Press http://fuelfix.com/blog/2012/02/17/house-passes-drilling-friendly-energy-package/