What: All Issues : Government Checks on Corporate Power : Oil & Gas Industry : (H.R. 1231) On a motion that would have required all oil and gas produced as a result of leases authorized by an offshore oil drilling bill to be sold exclusively in the United States. (This requirement was intended to lower domestic gas prices.) The motion would also have required the Secretary of the Interior to reduce the number of “nonproducing offshore oil and gas leases” (leases which were issued to companies, but were not being used by those companies to actively drill for oil and gas) by 50 percent by 2017. (2011 house Roll Call 319)
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(H.R. 1231) On a motion that would have required all oil and gas produced as a result of leases authorized by an offshore oil drilling bill to be sold exclusively in the United States. (This requirement was intended to lower domestic gas prices.) The motion would also have required the Secretary of the Interior to reduce the number of “nonproducing offshore oil and gas leases” (leases which were issued to companies, but were not being used by those companies to actively drill for oil and gas) by 50 percent by 2017.
house Roll Call 319     May 12, 2011
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Loss

This was a vote on a motion to recommit that would have required all oil and gas produced as a result of leases authorized by an offshore oil drilling bill to be sold exclusively in the United States. (This requirement was intended to lower domestic gas prices.) The motion would also have required the Secretary of the Interior to reduce the number of “nonproducing offshore oil and gas leases” (leases which were issued to companies, but were not being used by those companies to actively drill for oil and gas) by 50 percent by 2017. A motion to recommit with instructions is the minority's opportunity to torpedo or significantly change a bill before a final up-or-down vote on the measure. This motion to recommit was offered to legislation requiring the Secretary of the Interior to auction leases for oil and gas drilling in the most oil-rich regions of the Outer Continental Shelf (specifically, those areas with more than 2.5 billion barrels of oil or 7.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas).

Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) urged support for this motion to recommit: “ The truth is that giving away more of the American people's offshore resources to Big Oil companies will do absolutely nothing to ease the prices at the pump. How do we know? Because the oil giants already are sitting on 11.6 billion barrels of oil in the Gulf of Mexico without lifting a finger to extract it. If my colleagues really believe that more domestic drilling is the answer to high gas prices, then they should support this final amendment, which does two things: first, to encourage the oil companies to drill on the tens of millions of acres of public land they already hold so that Americans can benefit from domestic oil production before the oil companies rush to lock up more land; and second, the amendment would help to keep the oil produced within the United States of America here at home….Oil companies are active on just 10 million of the 34 million acres under lease in the gulf.”

Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) opposed this motion to recommit: “This Democrat motion is just one more example of congressional Democrats attempting to obstruct a bill that will increase access to American energy resources….This motion is trying to deflect criticism from the policies that have been perpetrated that block American energy production, cost jobs and raise prices. It is simply a distraction from the real work that needs to be done to increase the supply of American energy….With this motion, the party opposite is standing for a `drill there and not here' policy….that is not a strategy that will work to create American jobs. The underlying bill will create these jobs….I urge my colleagues to vote against this motion. Let's pass this [underlying] bill to return these American energy resources back to where they belong, and that is to the American people.”

The House rejected this motion to recommit by a vote of 180-243. Voting “yea” were 179 Democrats and 1 Republican. 231 Republicans and 12 Democrats voted “nay.” As a result, the House rejected a motion to recommit that would have required all oil and gas produced as a result of leases authorized by an offshore oil drilling bill to be sold exclusively in the United States—and would also have required the Secretary of the Interior to reduce the number of “nonproducing offshore oil and gas leases” by 50 percent by 2017.

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