What: All Issues : Corporate Subsidies : Oil & Gas Industry : (S. 1) On an amendment to require the federal government to speed up its review of applications to drill for oil and natural gas on public land
 Who: All Members
[POW!]
 

To find out how your Members of Congress voted on this bill, use the form on the right.

(S. 1) On an amendment to require the federal government to speed up its review of applications to drill for oil and natural gas on public land
senate Roll Call 17     Jan 22, 2015
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Progressive

This vote was on an amendment that would have required the federal government to speed up its review of applications to drill for oil and natural gas on public land.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) offered the amendment during consideration of a bill authorizing construction of a controversial oil pipeline. Sen. Lee’s amendment would have required the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to process applications to drill on federal land within 30 days, with just a few exceptions that allow for an extended review. If the agency did not meet the deadline, the oil company’s permit would have been automatically approved. 

Sen. Lee argued that the BLM’s tendency to delay its decisions on permit applications was hurting efforts to develop oil and gas resources in the western United States. The result of the BLM’s approach was months of delay and a backlog of permit applications, and Congress should force the agency to do better, he said.

“Our security – our energy security and our national security, more broadly – depends ultimately on our ability to produce energy,” Sen. Lee said. “We need to make sure we are using that (federal) land to shore up our energy independence.”

Opponents of Sen. Lee’s amendment argued that it was simply an attempt to circumvent the Endangered Species Act and other important legal protections for the environment. The amendment sought to put in place an “arbitrary” deadline and undermined American citizens’ right to challenge drilling decisions in federal court, they argued.

“I guess if (my) colleagues want to keep trying to loosen environmental regulations, then maybe they should support this amendment,” Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) said.

Even though 51 senators voted in favor of Sen. Lee’s amendment and only 47 voted against it, the amendment was defeated because it was brought up under Senate rules that require 60 votes for passage. Voting “yea” were 49 Republicans and 2 Democrats. Voting “nay” were 43 Democrats and 4 Republicans. As a result, the Senate defeated the effort to require the federal government to speed up its review of applications to drill for oil and natural gas on public land.

Issue Areas:

Find your Member of
Congress' votes

Select by Name