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August 18th, 2008

Congress Incorporates Offshore Drilling into Bill



House Speaker Nancy Pelosi proposed on Saturday to incorporate expanded offshore drilling into the new Democratic energy bill. Both Pelosi and Senator Obama have expressed willingness in recent weeks to ease staunch Democratic resistance to expanded offshore drilling in order to compromise and pass a bill on the hot-button topic of energy.

Republicans have remained very skeptical of the Democratic proposal; fearing willingness to incorporate offshore drilling will open up the bill to various other proponents Republicans have strongly disagreed with:

Discussions over the package are continuing. The draft proposal includes several measures that Republicans have already blocked in Congress: releasing oil from the strategic petroleum reserve and a renewable-electricity standard that would require a rising percentage of power to come from sources such as wind and wave generation.

Critics of the proposal feel it will only lead to a stalemate in Congress if Democratic policy makers draft a bill, as President Bush put it, with “provisions that they know will never be enacted and are added only for the purpose of killing the effort to open up the…outer continental shelf to drilling.”

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