House GOP Pushing 'Oil Above All Else' Agenda Harder Than Ever
thinkprogress.org — On Wednesday, the Republican-led House Natural Resources Committee voted 24-17 to approve a bill designed to increase exploitation of oil and gas reserves off America’s coasts. Determining that the Obama administration’s plan to open 75 percent of US oil reserves for lease was insufficient, Chairman Doc Hastings (R-WA) proposed a bill to lease huge tracts along the Pacific and Atlantic coastlines, as well as smack in the middle of some of Alaska’s richest fishing grounds. Though the devastation from Deepwater Horizon is still being felt throughout the Gulf Coast, the House hopes to lease more federal drill sites to oil companies, in spite of their reluctance to utilize 72 percent of leases they currently hold. As was noted by Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), “here in the Republican House of Representatives, it is oil above all else,” even if this means placing our nation’s beaches, fisheries and coastal tourism industries at risk.