The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Friday, June 30, 2006

House ends 25-year moratorium on offshore drilling

Forty Democrats sided with the GOP for what will undoubtedly be the perfect solution to America's energy problem. The measure is especially popular among Florida Republicans, undoubtedly keeping in mind the famously hardy and definitely not fragile ecosystem of their state.

The House voted Thursday to replace offshore drilling bans that have stood for 25 years with a system that gives states control out to 100 miles but allows unfettered oil and gas drilling after that.

The bill bars drilling within a military training zone that extends 234 miles west off Tampa Bay.

The 232-187 decision was a landmark shift in attitudes toward drilling bans that have covered most U.S. waters since 1982. With a majority of Florida's 25 House members voting for it -- 13 Republicans and Democrat Allen Boyd of Monticello -- the vote crystalized differences among Florida lawmakers who had posed a nearly united front against past efforts to allow drilling closer to their state.

One prominent Republican, however, emerged as a verbal critic of offshore drilling, saying the following:

What is involved is the use of our resources of the sea and of the land in a more effective way and with more concern for preserving the beauty and the natural resources that are so important to any kind of society that we want for the future.

That was Richard Nixon, addressing the 1969 drilling accident in Santa Barbara. A company with government permission to use substandard precautions caused a 100,000 barrel spill after two weeks of operation that required several weeks and millions of dollars to clean up. The incident prompted laws that banned offshore drilling.