The U.S. House began debating H.R. 2021 this week. If passed, the legislation will expedite the permit process for oil drilling off the Alaskan coast, block challenges to the permits, and scale back air pollution standards.
The White House issued a statement opposing the legislation Tuesday, stating that the bill is detrimental on three accounts:
Recently National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration chief Jane Lubchenco and the U.S. Coast Guard officials warned that the U.S. remains unprepared to handle oil complications in the Arctic, and that the challenge to contain an oil spill like Deepwater Horizon would be significantly greater under such extreme conditions.