One Route for House Energy Bill in the Senate

Elisabeth Meinecke
Posted: May 10, 2011 11:45 AM
The House passed HR 1230 last week, a bill aimed at selling more offshore leases for drilling off both the coast of Virginia and the Gulf of Mexico. The Obama administration had previously canceled the leases.

So what's the Senate going to do about it?

According to a Hill source, there will likely be an attempt to get the bill the Senate calendar and enable floor action on the bill through a rule that would bypass the committee process. The bill, should it be referred to committee, would likely go to the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, chaired by Democrat Sen. Jeff Bingaman. The ranking Republican on that committee is Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

The potential for drilling off the coast of Virginia has positive implications for reducing foreign oil dependence and American jobs. According to the House GOP Natural Resources Committee press release, a recent study showed "offshore energy development in Virginia could create nearly 2,000 jobs and produce 750 million barrels of oil and 6.65 trillion cubic feet of natural gas."