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 »
TO VISIT US TROOPS
John McCain Paid Secret Visit To Syria
3 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Senator John McCain paid a secret visit to Northern Syria over the weekend during his trip abroad. McCain reportedly went "to speak with American officials and Kurdish fighters leading the charge to push ISIS militants out of Raqqa, the jihadist group’s stronghold." The trip was organized with the help of U.S. military.

Source:
‘MORE WITH LESS’
Trump Budget to Call for Major Cuts
4 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"The Trump administration will deliver its first budget to Congress in mid-March, and the president confirmed Wednesday it will contain major cuts for federal agencies." The blueprint, expected to be released in mid-March, will not include the kinds of specifics usually seen in White House budgets, but rather will instruct the heads of agencies to "do more with less."

Source:
DEFERENCE TO PRESIDENT
More Republicans Trust Trump than GOP Members
5 hours ago
WHY WE CARE
PAC WILL TARGET INCUMBENTS
Sanders Acolytes Taking the Movement Local
7 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

"While Democrats nationwide have put the focus on President Trump, the Sanders wing of the party has engaged in an intramural fight to remake the party in a more populist, liberal mold." From Washington state to California to Florida, Sanders loyalists are making good on their promise to remake the party from the ground up. And just last week, a "group of former Sanders campaign aides launched a super PAC with the explicit goal of mounting primary challenges to Democratic incumbents."

Source:
THANKS TO MILITARY ROLE
McMaster Requires Congressional Approval
7 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Congress will need to vote on Donald Trump's pick of Lt. General H.R. McMaster to be his next national security adviser, but not for the reason you think. The position of NSA doesn't require Senate approval, but since McMaster currently holds a three-star military position, Congress will need to vote to allow him to keep his position instead of forcing him to drop one star and become a Major General, which could potentially affect his pension.

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login