Oh goody

some new places to drill off-shore.

WSJ.com - House Panel Backs Offshore Natural-Gas Drilling
In a major shift reflecting higher energy costs, the House Appropriations Committee voted to lift a decades-old legislative ban on exploring for natural gas off the U.S. coast.

Restrictions on offshore oil exploration were left intact, and much of the Outer Continental Shelf will still be protected by separate executive orders until 2012. But the size of the 37-25 vote surprised both sides in the energy-versus-environment debate and represents a pronounced change for a major House panel long identified with the nearly 25-year-long drilling ban.

because truth be told, these new drilling locations don't seem to be really the panacea to the so-called energy crisis after all:

Nonetheless, the politics are perilous for coastal Republicans, and critics said the economic benefits are exaggerated since substantial natural-gas reserves are already open to drilling in unprotected offshore waters.

and lets throw in some anti-environment budget cuts because we obviously value energy company profits over clean air, water, soil, yadda yadda:

Opponents vowed that the fight will continue on the House floor and in the Senate, and environmentalists have opened a second front, questioning if the Interior Department has been collecting the full royalties owed on existing oil and gas leases. A separate amendment yesterday, for example, codifies rules for how much royalty relief can be provided to the companies and requires that Interior renegotiate agreements to ensure they comply.

The debate came as the committee approved a $25.9 billion budget bill, including funding for the Interior Department for the new fiscal year that begins Oct. 1. The measure restores about $412 million that the White House had proposed to cut, but it still reflects a steady decline in funds for clean-water and land-conservation programs.

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This page contains a single entry by Seth A. published on May 11, 2006 3:28 PM.

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