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Senate Defeats Bill To Force More Drilling Off Our Coasts

Anti-subsidy legislation falls short of 60 votes
May 18, 2011
Washington, D.C. —

Today, the Senate soundly rejected by a vote of 57-42, legislation sponsored by Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) that would expand and accelerate drilling while weakening environmental and safety standards.

Last night, while falling short of the 60 votes needed, a bipartisan majority of Senators supported legislation that aimed to repeal more than $20 billion in handouts to some of the world’s largest and most profitable corporations. Sponsored by Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), S. 940 would have instead directed these oil subsidies toward reducing our nation’s deficit

The following statement is from Jessica Ennis, Legislative Associate at Earthjustice:

“We are pleased Sen. McConnell’s legislation was dead-on-arrival, it served only to benefit industry by weakening oversight of offshore drilling and imposing arbitrary deadlines on the agency that ultimately would place our fragile coasts at risk. Despite the very real lesson we learned from the BP oil disaster, these oil and gas companies are continually allowed to bypass crucial environmental reviews in the permitting process.

“Last night, a majority of the Senate correctly stood with Sen. Menendez to eliminate the billions of dollars in subsidies that the largest oil and gas companies take at the expense of American taxpayers each year. The only real solution to our oil-dependence is to move toward more efficient cars and trucks, cleaner alternative fuels and better transportation choices. Congress must pass legislation that puts America on that path.”

Contacts

Jessica Ennis, Earthjustice, (202) 667-4500, ext. 202

Raviya Ismail, Earthjustice, (202) 667-4500, ext. 221

About Earthjustice

Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.