11 May 2011 Congress Votes for Big Oil Over Gulf – AGAIN Posted by: Caitlin Leutwiler | 1 comment | Share: The U.S. House of Representatives today passed the second in a series of three fast-track drilling bills that imposes arbitrarily rushed permitting deadlines that would force the Secretary of the Interior to approve or deny drilling permits within 30 days, and automatically approve within 60 days. H.R. 1229, ironically called “Putting the Gulf of Mexico Back to Work,” eliminates important safety and environmental considerations and gives experts far too little time to adequately evaluate the safety and environmental implications of drilling – exactly the type of reckless protocol that contributed to the disastrous BP Deepwater Horizon explosion. Rodger Schlickeisen, president and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife said, “This bill should more accurately be called, ‘Pandering to Big Oil Interests at the Expense of Coastal Economies and the Environment.’ By fast-tracking the important review process, the bill puts at risk the very fishermen, restaurant and hotel owners, and coastal communities, wildlife and habitat still reeling from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster. “Instead of lowering the bar for Big Oil, Congress should be working to safeguard those jobs and the healthy environment on which they depend. “Instead of lowering the bar for Big Oil, Congress should be working to safeguard those jobs and the healthy environment on which they depend. Congress should pass legislation that ensures safer operations in any water depth, provides better spill response, lifts the existing liability cap and secures funding for restoration efforts in the Gulf.” A vote on the last bill of this reckless drilling suite is expected this week. H.R. 1231 requires the administration to open up coastal and Arctic offshore drilling areas regardless of economic or environmental consequences. Learn more: Congress is suffering from oil disaster amnesia – read about the first reckless drilling bill to pass the House. See how Defenders is working to protect America’s coasts from the dangers of offshore drilling. One Response to “Congress Votes for Big Oil Over Gulf – AGAIN” Post Your Comment Click here to cancel reply. Name (required) Mail (required) (will not be published) You May also be interested in Last Week to Submit Your Photos! Defenders 5th annual photo contest is now in it’s final week, but you still have time to submit your best wildlife and wild lands photos for a chance to win a trip to Yellowstone National Park with renowned wildlife photographer Jess Lee! Failing Report Card on Federal Efforts to Conserve Sage-grouse Analyzing the federal plans for sage-grouse conservation, our experts find some serious problems for this iconic and already imperiled bird. Valuing our natural heritage: The Green Investments 2015 Budget The environmental community recently released its Green Investments 2015 Budget, a proposal for Congress to invest in our lands and wildlife and put a halt to harmful cuts that hurt both our environment and our economy.