In the face of a White House veto threat, House Republicans are on track to take up legislation that would replace President Obama’s offshore drilling plan with a more relaxed initiative.
House Democrats and Republicans traded barbs on Tuesday over H.R. 6082, a Republican offshore drilling plan meant to replace a narrower vision put in place by the Obama administration.
Many House Democrats blasted the House majority for being quick to forget the environmental disaster that plagued the Gulf Coast for months following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in 2010.
The measure would supersede a moratorium the Obama administration put in place that prohibits drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts for the next five years. Additionally, the bill would require a more aggressive approach to selling leases off the coast of Alaska. Under the current administration’s plan, new lease sales and development in the Arctic have been paused until 2016.
The White House has argued that its plan would provide gradually increased access to offshore resources over the next few years.
“The administration’s recently announced five-year strategy for offshore oil and gas leasing makes areas containing more than 75 percent of estimated, technically recoverable oil and gas resources in our oceans available for exploration and development – including all of the highest resource areas on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf,” the White House said in a statement.