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

From 'Dragon Tattoo' To The 'Spider's Web': Stieg Larsson's Heroine Returns

The late Stieg Larsson's Millennium series of novels is getting an addition, The Girl in the Spider's Web. The book, written by David Lagercrantz, just got its title and a U.S. release date: Sept. 1.
NPR

Our Food-Safety System Is A Patchwork With Big Holes, Critics Say

More than a dozen federal agencies play a part in keeping food from making Americans sick. Critics say the system has gaps, and we'd all be safer if federal food safety efforts were under one roof.
WAMU 88.5

Hogan's Promise To Cut Maryland Taxes Curbed By Lawmakers

In his campaign last year, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan pledged to cut taxes in the state, but so far only two minor measures have made it out of committee.

NPR

If Drones Make You Nervous, Think Of Them As Flying Donkeys

In Africa, where there aren't always roads from point A to point B, drones could take critical medicines to remote spots. But the airborne vehicles make people uneasy for lots of reasons.

Leave a Comment

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