This was a vote on an amendment by Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) that would have required all applications for offshore oil drilling permits to include an estimate of the amount of oil and gas expected to be produced from the well, as well as an estimate of the amount by which crude oil and consumer prices would be reduced if the well yielded the estimated amount of oil and gas. This amendment was offered to legislation requiring the Secretary of the Interior to approve or deny offshore oil drilling leases within 30 days of receiving an application.
Hastings urged support for his amendment: “…Speeding up the permitting process and thereby making it easier to drill off our country's shores in the manner that this bill does will do little to help Americans at the gas pump….At maximum output, the United States holds less than 2 percent of the world's oil reserves, not nearly enough to significantly impact the price per barrel…Though production in our country has actually increased every year since 2005, crude oil hit a record $147 per barrel over the same time period, demonstrating that there is little correlation between drilling levels in the United States and the price of oil. More drilling will put our businesses, as well as our environment and health, at an increased risk with little return to the average American.…The only way we can reduce gasoline prices is to decrease our country's demand for fossil fuels by increasing our energy efficiency, improving the fuel mileage of our cars, and developing real renewable energy resources. federal policies should focus on making these changes, not on dangerously restricting federal oversight of the industry.”
Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) opposed the amendment: “I must oppose this amendment. The effect of the amendment is that we are going to hold ourselves hostage to foreign energy unless we can prove that domestic energy meets some abstract standard and satisfies some bureaucrat. Where I disagree with this amendment the most is the assumption that domestic energy production might not be good for America and might not be allowed. More supply cannot help but to lower prices, reduce dependence, generate revenue and create jobs. I see all these results of domestic energy production as good: good for America, good for consumers and good for our balance of trade. This is true whether the impact from a single well is sufficient in and of itself to move the price of oil prices overseas or not. The real result of this amendment would be that we don't create jobs, revenue and more energy.”
The House rejected this amendment by a vote of 169-258. Voting “yea” were 168 Democrats—including a majority of progressives—and 1 Republican. 235 Republicans and 23 Democrats voted “nay.” As a result, the House rejected an amendment that would have required all applications for offshore oil drilling permits to include an estimate of the amount of oil and gas expected to be produced from the well, as well as an estimate of the amount by which crude oil and consumer prices would be reduced if the well yielded the estimated amount of oil and gas.