Graves on Dems’ Offshore Oil Moratorium Bills
Washington, DC – Three bills to restrict oil drilling off the U.S. Atlantic and Pacific coasts, in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, and on federal lands in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) passed in the U.S. House of Representatives this week, mostly along party lines. Those voting in favor were seemingly unphased by the fact that the bills would actually cause the climate impacts they claim to prevent.
Congressman Garret Graves (South Louisiana) – who prepared 10 amendments to the energy bills, but Democrats used procedural tactics to prevent him from being able to introduce them – spoke on the House Floor and explained the disconnect between what was happening and what people said was happening. The accuracy and clarity of Graves’ remarks notwithstanding, the other side of the aisle stuck with their misguided eco-zeal and made a headlong dash to pass the bills – the latest in a tired procession of symbolic environmentalist policies and ideas that harm the environment more than doing nothing would.
“Once again they are legislating on emotions, not facts. If enacted, their efforts will ultimately backfire,” said Graves.
Click to watch Rep. Graves speak on the House Floor.
About the Bills
CQ Summary of H.R. 1941: The bill establishes a statutory moratorium on any further oil and gas leasing off the U.S. Atlantic and Pacific coasts, thereby blocking the Trump administration's offshore leasing plans for those regions. Supporters of the bill say such a moratorium is needed to protect local communities and businesses that rely on clean beaches and healthy oceans from the dangers of offshore energy development, while opponents say that tourism, commercial fishing and recreation industries can easily coexist with offshore oil and gas development, pointing to the vibrant economies of Gulf of Mexico states where offshore drilling currently occurs.
CQ Summary of H.R. 205: The bill extends indefinitely the existing moratorium on offshore oil and gas development in the eastern Gulf of Mexico off the Florida coast, which is currently set to expire in June 2022. Supporters of the bill argue that offshore oil and gas development pose existential threats to Florida's tourism, fishing, and recreation economy, which rely on clean water and healthy beaches, while opponents say robust commercial fishing, tourism, and recreation activities already take place off the coasts of other Gulf states where drilling occurs and have coexisted with drilling for decades
CQ Summary of H.R. 1146: The bill repeals provisions of the 2017 tax overhaul law that provides for the leasing of federal lands in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for oil and gas exploration and production. Supporters of the bill say any small gains in domestic oil produced from within ANWR is far outweighed by the environmental damage that could occur to the delicate ecosystem in that wilderness, while opponents say drilling in ANWR is essential to further reduce the nation's dependence on foreign oil and support a strong and growing U.S. economy.
About the Amendments Offered by Rep. Graves
GRAVLA_074—Requires a report on lifecycle GHG emissions from imported fuels.
GRAVLA_077—Creates a coastal grant program as an alternative to the moratorium.
GRAVLA_085—requires the Secretary to confirm that such moratorium will not reduce available funding for climate change research.
GRAVLA_081—Requires the secretary to confirm that such moratorium will not threaten global or domestic energy security or national security.
GRAVLA_076—Requires the secretary to confirm that such moratorium will not threaten global or domestic energy security or national security.
GRAVLA_079—Requires a report on lifecycle GHG emissions from imported fuels.
GRAVLA_083—Reverses repeal if the Secretary determines that such repeal will increase foreign coal production.
GRAVLA_080-- Requires a report on lifecycle GHG emissions from imported fuels.
GRAVLA_082-- Requires the secretary to confirm that such moratorium will not threaten global or domestic energy security or national security.
GRAVLA_084--Requires the Secretary to confirm that such moratorium will not reduce available funding for SNAP.