The new Capitol Hill budget plan clears the way for a U.S.-Mexico offshore drilling agreement to proceed, signaling the apparent end of a House-Senate impasse that has stalled implementation of the 2012 accord.
The agreement announced Tuesday evening between Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. has language tucked into it that approves the U.S.-Mexico Transboundary Hydrocarbons Agreement.
The bilateral drilling accord is designed to enable cooperation and legal certainty in the development of oil-and-gas along a maritime boundary in the Gulf of Mexico.
The budget plan announced Tuesday would break a Capitol Hill logjam on the drilling accord—if the overall deal passes.
The underlying U.S.-Mexico drilling pact has bipartisan and White House support. But the House-approved version of the implementing bill, which passed in June, included waivers from a provision of the Dodd-Frank law that requires oil-and-gas companies to disclose payments to foreign governments. The Senate-approved version of the U.S.-Mexico bill, which the White House backed, did not include the language. House and Senate differences over the bill have delayed final action for months.
Senate and Obama administration aides said the Ryan-Murray deal jettisons the Dodd-Frank waiver, but includes other language from the House-passed version of the implementing bill, H.R. 1613.
Obama administration officials say the U.S.-Mexico pact will foster development with needed safeguards in place.
“This agreement will make nearly 1.5 million acres of the Outer Continental Shelf, currently affected by a moratorium under the Western Gap Treaty, immediately available for leasing and also make the entire transboundary region, which is currently subject to legal uncertainty in the absence of an agreement, more attractive to U.S.-qualified operators,” said Tommy Beaudreau, a senior Interior Department official, in testimony for an Oct. 1 Senate hearing.
Interior estimates that the transboundary region contains 172 million barrels of oil and 304 billion cubic feet of natural gas.
What We're Following See More »
An estimated $15.6 billion, "according to a Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration report."
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) “is the subject of an ongoing investigation by the FBI and … the Justice Department” for potentially improper contributions to his 2013 campaign, including while he was a Clinton Global Initiative board member. ... Among the McAuliffe donations that drew the interest of the investigators was $120,000 from” former Chinese legislator Wang Wenliang. “U.S. election law prohibits foreign nationals from donating to … elections. … But Wang holds U.S. permanent resident status.”
"Donald Trump is reviving some of the ugliest political chapters of the 1990s with escalating personal attacks on Bill Clinton's character, part of a concerted effort to smother Hillary Clinton 's campaign message with the weight of decades of controversy. Trump's latest shot came Monday when he released an incendiary Instagram video that includes the voices of two women who accused the former president of sexual assault, underscoring the presumptive Republican nominee's willingness to go far beyond political norms in his critique of his likely Democratic rival. ...In one recent interview, Trump said another topic of potential concern is the suicide of former White House aide Vincent Foster, which remains the focus of intense and far-fetched conspiracy theories on the Internet."
"The head of security for the Transportation Security Administration, Kelly Hoggan, has been removed from his position after a hearing about the agency's management, the House Oversight Committee says." Deputy assistant administrator Darby LaJoye will take over for Hoggan on a temporary basis.
"Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has appointed a veteran legal insider with strong personal ties to the Obama administration to serve as his special adviser focused exclusively on fixing the Washington region’s troubled Metro system. Kathryn Thomson, who was expected to leave her job as the Department of Transportation’s top lawyer, instead will stay on as Foxx’s special adviser on Metro oversight." She'll start this week.