Legislative: Hearing on a Draft Discussion of the "Accessing Strategic Resources Offshore Act"
LEGISLATIVE HEARING ON:
- Discussion Draft of H.R. ____, To amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to distribute revenues from oil and gas leasing on the outer Continental Shelf to certain coastal States, and for other purposes. “Accessing Strategic Resources Offshore Act" or "ASTRO Act.”
SUMMARY OF THE BILL:
- Shares offshore drilling revenues with Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Alaska.
- Increases the amount of offshore revenues that the Gulf States can receive by $9 billion, in addition to the roughly $15 billion they are already slated to receive.
- Eliminates the President’s authority to establish marine monuments under the Antiquities Act.
- Ends the President’s authority to withdraw portions of the OCS from leasing.
- Allows the Secretary to add new offshore lease sales in any region at any time.
- Repeals the Arctic drilling safety rule.
DEMOCRATIC TOP-LINE MESSAGES:
- This legislation is bad for workers, the environment, and American taxpayers.
- The Deepwater Horizon demonstrated why we need a strong, independent offshore safety regulator, yet this bill and Secretary Zinke want to take us back to the ethically challenged days of the Bush Administration.
- All of America’s coasts would be perpetually at risk from unsafe offshore drilling under this bill, which allows the Secretary of the Interior to lease wherever and whenever he wants.
- The bill is one more salvo in the Republican War on Monuments, amending the Antiquities Act to eliminate the President’s ability to protect sensitive offshore habitats.