The Republican effort to expand offshore drilling in country has been turned down by the U.S. Senate. The bill would have opened up more areas to drilling and forced regulators to speed up their decisions on lease permits.
The vote was 57 against and 42 for — 18 short of the 60 “Yes” votes required to move it to the Senate floor. Democrats voted resoundingly against the bill, saying it would fail to lower gasoline prices and that it ignores safety lessons learned from last year’s massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
“This reckless bill would allow drilling in sensitive coastal areas even though current safety and oversight laws have been deemed to be inadequate to prevent a repeat of the gulf disaster,” said Democratic Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey.
With consumers feeling the crunch of record gasoline prices, energy issues find themselves stuck in political gridlock. The failure of the offshore drilling bill came just a day after Republicans defeated a bill proposed by Senate Democrats to end tax incentives for Big Oil.
(via NYT, Yahoo News)
Photo via Daily Mail