The Obama administration on Wednesday slammed a House bill that would allow oil companies to drill in at least 50 percent of the Outer Continental Shelf and open up areas in the South Atlantic for oil production.
The bill, titled, “Reversing President Obama’s Offshore Moratorium Act,” is expected to pass the House late Wednesday or Thursday. In its “Statement of Administration Policy,” the White House claimed the bill would undermine and circumvent the process by which officials currently deem areas safe to lease for drilling.
“[The bill] would require the Department of Interior (DOI) to open new areas on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) to leasing without any discretion to determine which areas are actually appropriate and safe for explorations and development,” read the administration’s statement.
The statement went on to call the bill tantamount to a mandate forcing lease sales in the OCS without any input from local citizens. It did not, however, threaten a veto.