Friday, May 13, 2011

US votes to expand offshore oil drilling

US House of Representatives considers California offshore oil drilling

Source: Press TV

The Republican-controlled US House of Representatives has defied the American administration by voting for the expansion of offshore oil drilling amid concerns over soaring gasoline prices.

The controversial draft bill to expand offshore oil drilling was backed by 243 legislators, while 179 voted against it, AFP reported on Thursday.

Democrats have slammed the bill, saying that it would only bring massive contributions to oil companies, a year after the massive and environmentally disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The bill is reportedly not expected to win passage in the US Senate.

The oil drilling measure comes as US gasoline prices are currently leveled at around $4 per gallon. US President Barack Obama has warned that the bill poses a threat to the country's struggling economy.

Areas in the Outer Continental Shelf such as waters off California, Alaska, and the eastern US coast are among those to be targeted by the bill.

Obama has recently called on Congress to end tax breaks for oil and gas companies as they enjoy huge profits.

Meanwhile, the White House is worried that the high oil prices along with a number of other economic woes could dominate next year's presidential election campaigns.

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