Virginia Offshore Drilling Bill Passes U.S. House | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Virginia Offshore Drilling Bill Passes U.S. House

Play associated audio

This bill, H.R. 1230, is part of a broader set of bills to promote drilling.

H.R. 11230 passed on Thursday, and requires the Department of the Interior to open Virginia's coast to drilling. Two remaining bills being considered in the house would make permitting for offshore drilling significantly faster (HR1229) and more expansive (HR1231).

Supporters, including Virginia Congressman Rob Wittman, say the timing of this push is all about the price of gas.

He says that in the long run, drilling will help with energy security and gas prices, and that lessons have been learned from the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico last year.

"We can do this responsibly from an environmental standpoint, a safety standpoint," he says. "We have to have this comprehensive energy policy for this nation."

Environmental groups argue the opposite. They say that the bills would make substantive environmental review offshore drilling operations impossible. In addition, they say, for its risk, drilling would have no immediate impact on oil prices.

Nat Lund with the Southern Environmental Law Center says even in the long term, gas prices would scarcely budge -- if at all.

"Oil is sold as a global commodity and increasing U.S. supply by this modest amount is only going to affect prices by a couple of cents over a couple of decades," he says.

JR Tolbert is with The Virginia Sierra Club also opposes the bill. "Drilling for more oil is not a solution," says J.R. Tolbert, a representative for the group. "It's a false hope and false bill of goods being sold to the American people."

HR 1229 is expected to come up for a vote next week. None of the bills have yet been passed by the U.S. Senate.

NPR

There's Never A Dull Moment On This Trans-Siberian Adventure

Steve Inskeep talks with Morning Edition's own David Greene about his new book Midnight in Siberia, a chronicle of his trip — in third class — across Russia aboard the Trans-Siberian Express.
NPR

Chef Ottolenghi Makes The Case For 'Plenty More' Vegetables

Israeli chef Yotam Ottolenghi talks with Rachel Martin about the difference between supermarket hummus and Middle Eastern hummus and why he doesn't like to call his cookbooks "vegetarian."
NPR

N.H. Senate Race Becomes Focal Point For Both Parties

Incumbent Democrat Sen. Jeanne Shaheen had maintained a lead over the Republican field throughout the year in the swing state. But Republican Scott Brown, former Massachusetts senator, has closed the gap since his nomination in September.
NPR

Will Apple's Mobile Wallet Replace Your Leather Wallet?

Many have tried and failed with this kind of payment option before. But Apple's launch is bigger, with more financial institutions' support, and consumers may be more security-conscious.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.