Guy Kovner, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
The House of Representatives passed three amendments on Thursday imposing one-year bans on offshore oil drilling on the Pacific, Atlantic and eastern Gulf of Mexico coasts, potentially restoring the safeguard that protected California’s coast for more than a quarter century.
The three bipartisan votes came on amendments to the funding bill for the Department of Interior and other agencies and are protected from a line-item veto by President Donald Trump, who has proposed an aggressive expansion of oil and gas development in the nation’s offshore waters.
It also may not need approval in the Republican-controlled Senate, which will produce its own Interior Department appropriations bill.
“This is the congressional moratorium coming back,” said Richard Charter of Bodega Bay, a veteran anti-oil drilling activist. “Today’s been a miracle, big time.”
The House amendments would prevent the Secretary of Interior from spending any money on pre-leasing or leasing activities related to selling offshore drilling rights to energy developers.