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.
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With three days until the first debate, the polls are coming fast and furious. The latest round:
- An Associated Press/Gfk poll of registered voters found very few voters committed, with Clinton leading Trump, 37% to 29%, and Gary Johnson at 7%.
- A McClatchy-Marist poll gave Clinton a six-point edge, 45% to 39%, in a four-way ballot test. Johnson pulls 10% support, with Jill Stein at 4%.
- Rasmussen, which has drawn criticism for continually showing Donald Trump doing much better than he does in other polls, is at it again. A new survey gives Trump a five-point lead, 44%-39%.
In contrast to Hillary Clinton's meticulous debate practice sessions, Donald Trump "is largely shunning traditional debate preparations, but has been watching video of…Clinton’s best and worst debate moments, looking for her vulnerabilities.” Trump “has paid only cursory attention to briefing materials. He has refused to use lecterns in mock debate sessions despite the urging of his advisers. He prefers spitballing ideas with his team rather than honing them into crisp, two-minute answers.”
Donald Trump "is on the precipice of becoming the only major-party presidential candidate this century not to reach out to millions of American voters whose dominant, first or just preferred language is Spanish. Trump has not only failed to buy any Spanish-language television or radio ads, he so far has avoided even offering a translation of his website into Spanish, breaking with two decades of bipartisan tradition."
Bill and Hillary Clinton have purchased the home next door to their primary residence in tony Chappaqua, New York, for $1.16 million. "By purchasing the new home, the Clinton's now own the entire cul-de-sac at the end of the road in the leafy New York suburb. The purchase makes it easier for the United States Secret Service to protect the former president and possible future commander in chief."