Republican Plan to Expand U.S. Offshore Oil Blocked in Senate
According to Bloomberg, a Republican proposal to expand offshore drilling was blocked in the Senate, one day after Democrats failed to advance legislation that would repeal $21 billion in tax breaks for five multinational oil companies. Supporters of the legislation fell 18 votes short of the 60 needed to advance, with five Republicans joining Democrats in opposition. The tax repeal measure was eight votes short of the required threshold. Democrats said the Republican-backed offshore bill, which sought to expand lease sales and speed approval of drilling permits, ignored lessons from the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and wouldn’t provide drivers relief at the pump. The Republican-led House passed similar bills this month. No Democrats supported the bill. The failure of the two bills leaves Democrats and Republicans divided on energy policy as drivers face gasoline prices that nationally average about $4 a gallon.