Posted by Chris on June 18, 2003 at 18:31:25:
US SENATE TURNS DOWN GRAHAM AMENDMENT, VOTES TO SUPPORT OIL EXPLORATION IN MORATORIUM AREAS OFFSHORE:
On June 12, the U.S. Senate voted down an amendment by Senators Bob Graham (D-FL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) to protect the existing offshore oil moratorium areas along the U.S. west coast (north of the Santa Maria Basin), Bristol Bay, Florida and Georges Bank, voting instead to support language allowing "studies" to inventory oil and gas reserves in these areas (see Sublegals, 7:19/10; 7:15/09; 7:14/01). Since 1982 Congress has prohibited leasing, pre-leasing, and related activities on much of the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), primarily to protect fisheries.
"Make no mistake, this 'inventory' and pre-drilling activity would be the first step in launching an all-out assault on our coastlines, putting them and thousands of communities at risk of an environmental and economic disaster," said Representative Lois Capps (D-CA) whose district includes the Santa Barbara Channel that was devastated by a major oil spill from a platform blow-out in the late 1960's. Capps led the effort to remove similar inventory language in the House version of the Energy bill. The use of seismic surveys for the "inventory" can harm both marine mammals and fish. For more, see the 13 June San Francisco Chronicle article
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