Continuing Resolution To Drop Drilling Moratorium; GOP Celebrates Democratic 'Capitulation'

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 24 Sep 2008 02:02:00 GMT

From Bloomberg:
A 26-year ban on offshore oil drilling will be dropped as part of a year-end spending bill, said House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey.

Eliminating the ban will allow the measure, which funds government operations through March 6, to get through Congress and be signed into law by President George W. Bush, Obey said.

“At least temporarily, the moratorium is lifted,” Obey told reporters. “This next election will decide what our drilling policy is going to be.”

The announcement was hailed by Republicans. “House Republicans have fought for months to lift these outdated bans on American energy production, and the capitulation by Democrats today is a big victory for working families, seniors, and small businesses struggling with record gasoline prices,” said House Republican Leader John Boehner, of Ohio.

The legislation, slated for a House vote tomorrow, will also include a $25 billion loan package for the auto industry, $23 billion in disaster assistance, an additional $2 billion for Pell education grants along with the annual defense, homeland security and veterans’ affairs appropriations bills.

Obey celebrated the closed process of developing the CR:
Asked if the process of has been secretive, Obey said: “You’re damn right it has because if it’s done in the public it would never get done.” He said he wanted to avoid his colleagues’ “pontificating” on the content of the legislation, saying “that’s what politicians do when this stuff is done in full view of the press.” He said, “We’ve done this the old fashioned way by brokering agreements in order to get things done and I make no apology for it.”

Update: The bill also kills the oil shale leasing moratorium.

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