Wednesday, September 24, 2008

CONGRESSIONAL DEMOCRATS CAVE ON OFFSHORE DRILLING

Washington Post - Congressional Democrats bowed to political pressure and agreed to let the ban on offshore oil drilling expire, a decision that would allow exploration just three miles off the Atlantic and Pacific coastlines unless the next president reinstates an executive branch order that prohibits drilling. Democrats said they gave in to White House demands rather than risk a showdown over the "continuing resolution" Congress must pass to fund the federal government through March. A new drilling moratorium would have been included in that wide-ranging measure. Provisions seeking money for home heating assistance for the poor and a loan program for the auto industry remain in the . . .

The most ardent drilling opponents, who contend that exploration of the outer continental shelf puts oceans at risk without producing short-term relief from gasoline prices, said there is still time for the next president and future Congresses to work out a new compromise before oil rigs are erected within sight of the nation's coasts.