Tuesday the Senate passed the
Currently, much of the potential gas production off the
Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M, sponsored the bill with 14 cosponsors: Sens. Mary Landrieu, D-La., David Vitter, R-La., Bill Frist, R-Tenn., Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Mel Martinez, R-Fla., Thad Cochran, R-Miss., Trent Lott, R-Miss., Richard Shelby, R-Ala., Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., John Cornyn, R-Texas, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, R-Texas, Jim Talent, R-Mo. and Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.
The bill directs the Secretary of the Interior to lease the area within one year of the date of enactment. Under this legislation, revenue from 37.5% of leasing and royalty revenues will be directed to
Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who voted against the bill says the percentage of royalties given to the four coastal states is a "sweetheart deal for a few states but it hurts the rest of the country. As President Truman said, 'minerals off
The House passed its version of the OCS bill, H.R. 4761, which replaces existing moratoriums on most offshore drilling with a ban on drilling out to 50 miles. It also allows states to extend that protection to 100 miles or pursue drilling closer to shore if they choose. It also directs a portion of the proceeds from current and future leases to coastal states.
Harkin criticized procedural moves that prevented him from offering amendments he had prepared that would have increased renewable fuels production and availability of those fuels.
The House and Senate bills will now need to be reconciled in a conference committee.