Offshore Drilling Debate Heats Up,Global Warming Put on the Back Burner

Chalk up a few victories yesterday in the U.S. House. Your representatives voted on a number of conservation-themed amendments as a part of the Department of Interior spending bill. One of these amendments that passed sent a strong message to the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers that they must enforce the Clean Water Act to the full extent of the law. Another stopped taxpayer subsidies for logging roads in the Tongass National Forest.

The one that got the most press, however, was a close vote to uphold the ban on drilling off Florida’s coasts. Though Florida’s coasts are safe for now, the amendment sparked a heated debate that is sure to rear up again.

Drilling ban upheld – barely
By Wes Allison, St. Petersburg Times

WASHINGTON – The U.S. House narrowly preserved a decades-old ban on offshore drilling late Thursday night. But the tight vote offered further proof that Florida’s ability to keep energy exploration far off its shores forever is growing more tenuous.

Tenuous indeed. While members of the House are still debating domestic drilling, one energy-related topic was deftly sidestepped when an important resolution that called for a “Sense of Congress” on global warming was nixed from the spending bill by Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska).

This resolution would have allowed for an open debate on the issue of global warming and, more importantly, put every representative on record as to if they think action is needed on global warming. Wouldn’t want that, would we?