They have no chance of passing in the U.S. Senate, but seven separate bills aimed at blocking oil and natural gas drilling in nearly all federal waters were introduced this week by Democrats who now control the House of Representatives.
Republicans control the Senate so their chances of getting approval are likely to be nil and none. The filings clearly show the distinct panorama of the Democrats in control of the House and Republicans in control of the Senate and the White House.
They also show what the Democrats plan to do over the course of the next two years while they fight President Trump’s plan to open more offshore sites for oil and gas production.
The bills include: a bill from Florida Representative Kathy Castor to impose a permanent ban on drilling in the South Atlantic, Straits of Florida and Eastern Gulf of Mexico; a bill from California Representative Jared Huffman to prohibit drilling off the US West Coast and in the Arctic Ocean; a bill from New Jersey Representative Frank Pallone to permanently ban drilling in the Atlantic, Straits of Florida and the eastern Gulf.
“We’re not going to sit by and watch as President Trump plunders our oceans for his friends in the big oil companies,” Rhode Island Representative David Cicilline, who introduced a bill prohibiting oil and gas leases in the North Atlantic, said in a statement.
Last year, the US Interior Department released a draft proposed plan that called for 47 proposed lease sales in nearly all federal waters from 2019 through 2024.
An updated proposed plan was expected to be released by Interior this month, but the ongoing partial shutdown of the federal government has indefinitely delayed its release, according to sources.