Republicans Vote to Thwart Imaginary Drilling Restriction

The House voted to bar the Energy Department from blocking offshore permits, but that’s Interior’s turf, and DOE has nothing to do with it.

A supply boat, lower left, passes an oil production platform in the Gulf of Mexico May 26, 2010. Offshore oil production and drilling structures dot the Louisiana coastline.    UPI/A.J. Sisco..
National Journal
Ben Geman
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Ben Geman
July 11, 2014, 7:05 a.m.

How badly do House Re­pub­lic­ans want to knee­cap White House en­ergy reg­u­la­tions?

They voted over­whelm­ingly Thursday to bar the En­ergy De­part­ment from block­ing ap­prov­al of off­shore-drilling per­mits. But there’s just one thing: The En­ergy De­part­ment doesn’t reg­u­late drilling. The In­teri­or De­part­ment does.

The pro­hib­i­tion on the En­ergy De­part­ment reg­u­lat­ing something that it doesn’t reg­u­late came came via Re­pub­lic­an Rep. Steve Stock­man’s amend­ment to a wider de­part­ment spend­ing bill, which also passed Thursday.

Re­pub­lic­ans have long ar­gued that Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion reg­u­lat­ors tie up drilling per­mits in red tape.

But on the House floor Thursday, Demo­crat­ic Rep. Marcy Kaptur said Stock­man’s amend­ment tar­get­ing the En­ergy De­part­ment was bark­ing up the wrong tree.

“There are no funds re­lated to this pur­pose in our bill at all,” she said, adding that the amend­ment has “no re­la­tion­ship to the bill be­fore us here in the House.”

Stock­man ar­gued, however, that “there is over­sight” and that “there has been, I feel, un­fair in­ter­fer­ence.” He also spoke gen­er­ally about the jobs and oth­er be­ne­fits of U.S. pro­duc­tion. His aides did not re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment Fri­day morn­ing.

Stock­man may have been seek­ing to make a lar­ger point. A Ju­ly 10 press re­lease an­noun­cing the amend­ments Stock­man hoped to of­fer in­cludes one called “End the En­ergy Road­b­lock,” de­scribed this way:

“No funds shall be ap­pro­pri­ated to the En­vir­on­ment­al Pro­tec­tion Agency, De­part­ment of the In­teri­or or De­part­ment of En­ergy if all off­shore drilling per­mits filed with the Bur­eau of Ocean En­ergy Man­age­ment or Bur­eau of Safety and En­vir­on­ment­al En­force­ment are not ac­ted on in a fair and timely man­ner.”

An­oth­er hoped-for Stock­man amend­ment that didn’t come up would “end the EPA,” ac­cord­ing to the re­lease.

What We're Following See More »
WITH LIVE BLOGGING
Trump Deposition Video Is Online
16 hours ago
STAFF PICKS

The video of Donald Trump's deposition in his case against restaurateur Jeffrey Zakarian is now live. Slate's Jim Newell and Josh Voorhees are live-blogging it while they watch.

Source:
SOUND LEVEL AFFECTED
Debate Commission Admits Issues with Trump’s Mic
17 hours ago
THE LATEST

The Commission on Presidential Debates put out a statement today that gives credence to Donald Trump's claims that he had a bad microphone on Monday night. "Regarding the first debate, there were issues regarding Donald Trump's audio that affected the sound level in the debate hall," read the statement in its entirety.

Source:
TRUMP VS. CHEFS
Trump Deposition Video to Be Released
18 hours ago
THE LATEST

"A video of Donald Trump testifying under oath about his provocative rhetoric about Mexicans and other Latinos is set to go public" as soon as today. "Trump gave the testimony in June at a law office in Washington in connection with one of two lawsuits he filed last year after prominent chefs reacted to the controversy over his remarks by pulling out of plans to open restaurants at his new D.C. hotel. D.C. Superior Court Judge Brian Holeman said in an order issued Thursday evening that fears the testimony might show up in campaign commercials were no basis to keep the public from seeing the video."

Source:
A CANDIDATE TO BE ‘PROUD’ OF
Chicago Tribune Endorses Gary Johnson
21 hours ago
THE LATEST

No matter that his recall of foreign leaders leaves something to be desired, Gary Johnson is the choice of the Chicago Tribune's editorial board. The editors argue that Donald Trump couldn't do the job of president, while hitting Hillary Clinton for "her intent to greatly increase federal spending and taxation, and serious questions about honesty and trust." Which leaves them with Johnson. "Every American who casts a vote for him is standing for principles," they write, "and can be proud of that vote. Yes, proud of a candidate in 2016."

NEVER TRUMP
USA Today Weighs in on Presidential Race for First Time Ever
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

"By all means vote, just not for Donald Trump." That's the message from USA Today editors, who are making the first recommendation on a presidential race in the paper's 34-year history. It's not exactly an endorsement; they make clear that the editorial board "does not have a consensus for a Clinton endorsement." But they state flatly that Donald Trump is, by "unanimous consensus of the editorial board, unfit for the presidency."

Source:
×