The U.S. House of Representatives today passed the third bill in a series of three fast-track drilling pieces that favors Big Oil profits over safety of coastal communities and environments. H.R. 1231, “The Reversing President Obama’s Offshore Moratorium Act,” is a massive handout to the oil and gas industry. This legislation forces the federal government to take on 50% of the cost of seismic testing for oil and would require the administration to open up coastal and Arctic offshore drilling areas regardless of economic or environmental consequences. These areas would include the coasts of California, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida and the fragile Arctic marine ecosystem off the coast of Alaska.
H.R. 1231 does not solve our gas price problem, but it does put at risk hundreds of thousands of jobs that rely on clean coastal waters. It also threatens thousands of miles of coastal habitat and exposes countless bird and marine species to the dangers of offshore drilling.
Rodger Schlickeisen, president and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife said, “The House today rewarded Big Oil for carelessly causing the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. After deliberately weakening safety practices on offshore drilling rigs only yesterday, the House’s vote to open America’s most fragile and beloved coasts to polluting drill rigs adds insult to injury.
“The House of Representatives had three chances to prove to the American public that it had their interests at heart, but instead chose to vote for Big Oil each time.”
“Big Oil has hit a trifecta this week. The House of Representatives had three chances to prove to the American public that it had their interests at heart, but instead chose to vote for Big Oil each time. By now there can be no doubt that the House majority’s interests lie not with what is good for the country but what is good for the wealthy and polluting oil industry.”
Congress is suffering from oil disaster amnesia – read about the first reckless drilling bill to pass the House and the second that fast-tracks the permitting process and eliminates environmental and safety considerations.