What: All Issues : Health Care : Medical Research Funding : HR 2996. (Fiscal 2010 environmental spending) Motion to defeat an attempt to speed up oil and gas drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf/On the motion
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HR 2996. (Fiscal 2010 environmental spending) Motion to defeat an attempt to speed up oil and gas drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf/On the motion
senate Roll Call 293     Sep 23, 2009
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Progressive

This vote was on tabling (killing) a motion to send the fiscal 2010 environment and Interior Department funding bill back to the Senate Appropriations Committee to rewrite some of its provisions.  David Vitter, R-La., who made the motion to have the bill rewritten, wanted the committee to add language that would prohibit funds in the bill from being used to delay former President George W. Bush’s Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program.  Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., then made a motion that Vitter’s motion be defeated, which is what this vote was on.

Vitter’s amendment would have had the effect of codifying Bush’s plan to open new U.S. coastal areas to oil and gas drilling between 2010 and 2015.  That plan has been put on hold while the Obama administration is drawing up its own plan for these areas.

“The problem is, the new administration and the new Secretary of the Interior have made it clear that—despite all of those actions, despite all of that clear communication by the American people, despite Congress taking that historic action of lifting the moratorium, despite the previous administration lifting the executive moratorium—they are not in any hurry and they are not going to take any action in the near future to move forward with the 2010 to 2015 offshore planning area and lease sales,” Vitter said.

Feinstein said she opposes Vitter’s proposal because it would tie the Obama administration’s hands.

“It would prevent the Obama administration from presenting its oil and gas development plan in favor of a draft plan issued by the Bush administration on its last business day in office. The amendment would overturn Interior Secretary Salazar’s decision to extend the public comment period over a 5-year plan for oil and gas development on the Outer Continental Shelf by 180 days. The amendment would make the last-minute Bush draft binding,” Feinstein said.

By a vote of 56-42, the motion to defeat Vitter’s motion carried.  All but two Democrats voted for defeating Vitter’s motion.  Every Republican present voted against defeating Vitter’s motion.  The end result is that the motion to defeat Vitter’s motion carried, and Vitter’s motion that would have codified Bush’s plan to allow more oil and gas drilling along the U.S. coasts was defeated.

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