Senate Defeats Amendment to Open Our Coasts to Drilling
The Senate voted yesterday to kill an amendment with a motion to recommit by Senator Vitter (R-LA) that would have forced the Department of the Interior to follow Bush's 5-year off shore oil and gas drilling plan. The amendment, offered to the Interior appropriations bill and defeated 56-42, would have prohibited the use of funds to delay the implementation of the Draft Proposed Plan (DPP) for Oil and Gas Leasing in the Outer Continental Shelf 2010-2015. The Secretary of the Interior extended the comment period of this DPP 6 months ago due to its hasty and rushed publication in the waning days of the previous Administration. This amendment would have taken away the Secretary's authority to further deliberate on this plan and how best to rewrite it, and would have instead forced him to follow through with a leasing program that was not based on science and would threaten our coasts.
The Secretary's comment period closed this past Monday with well over 350,000 comments submitted, the majority of those in opposition to the plan as written by the Bush administration. The Secretary can now devote substantial thought and deliberation to those comments as the Interior agency proceeds developing a sound energy policy for our nation's outer continental shelf.