Posted by 29 August 2019
The House of Representatives will take up the future of offshore drilling when it returns from its August recess.
In September, the House will be voting on two bills that would ban offshore drilling:
HR 205 – To permanently ban natural gas and oil exploration in the eastern part of the Gulf of Mexico.
HR 1941 – To prohibit issuing federal leases for oil and natural gas development in the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf or the Pacific Continental Shelf. This would effectively ban offshore drilling off of the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.
Currently there is a moratorium on offshore natural gas and oil production in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. The Trump Administration is considering a five-year energy leasing plan that would allow oil and gas development in the Atlantic Ocean from New Jersey to Florida. President Obama considered allowing offshore drilling in the Atlantic, but reversed course after the Deepwater Horizon accident in 2010.
Plans to allow oil and natural gas production in more offshore areas has been controversial. Supporters say it is a way to create jobs in coastal communities. They also note that there could be large amounts of gas and oil offshore that could be developed and reduce American reliance on foreign energy. Opponents fear accidents that would harm the environment and other coastal activities such as recreation and fishing.
There is bipartisan support for both the bills that will be considered by the House, and they are expected to pass. However, it is unlikely that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will schedule a vote on them.
Do you support permanently banning offshore drilling in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans?