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House approves plan to dangerously expedite Arctic drilling, curb EPA authority

23 Jun 2011  |   Emma Brown

Tags: Arctic, Congress, House

The House approved, by a 253-166 vote, legislation Wednesday to expedite drilling off the Alaskan coast while curbing the EPA’s ability to monitor the situation. 

H.R. 2021, which moved rapidly through the markup process, requires the EPA to make permitting decisions within a six-month timeframe and revokes EPA authority to regulate carbon pollution from vessels servicing off-shore drilling operations—a key provision that could impact other states’ ability to curb air pollution.

"This legislation will have wide-ranging impacts beyond the Arctic Ocean," House Energy and Commerce Committee ranking member Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) said. "The states of California and Delaware have grave concerns about the impact of this bill on their ability to protect public health and welfare from air pollution. In fact, this bill could affect every state on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts."

The bill now goes to the Senate.

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