The Senate yesterday voted to open up 8.3 million acres of ocean floor in the Gulf of Mexico for oil and natural gas exploration, but that sets up a tough negotiation with the House, which wants to expand exploration to an area almost 100 times that size.This is pretty cool too:
With a vote of 71-25, many senators feared a political backlash in the November elections if they blocked a bill that promises to lower gasoline prices.
For the first time, lawmakers from Florida accepted a deal for exploration in the Gulf. The legislation grants the state a 125-square-mile buffer until 2022.
It also includes provisions to alter the federal-state split of oil and gas revenues that would net the highest-producing Gulf states -- Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas -- as much as $600 billion over the next 15 years.Other than Texas, those states are among the poorest in the union, and need the revenue the most.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada kept Democrats from approving an expansion of the bill to include all coastal waters beyond the shelf.Can't we do both????
Mr. Reid said the House bill or any version of it will never pass the Senate.
He said the United States "cannot drill its way out" of 60 percent dependence on foreign sources of oil and natural gas, but must look to renewable sources such as wind and solar power, ethanol and hydrogen fuel.
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