RECENT VOTES

Energy

On Thursday, July 17, 2008, the House considered H.R. 6515: Drill Responsibly in Leased Lands (DRILL) Act. This legislation seeks to increase the domestic supply of oil as a way to increase supply and ease high prices. Currently 75% of federal land that is already leased by oil companies for drilling is not being used. Some of this land is in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A), which has already been open to drilling for 26 years. Despite this, only 14% of the land is leased and only 4 lease sales have been held since 1999. This legislation requires the Secretary of the Interior to offer at least one lease sale a year in the NPR-A. H.R. 6516 also includes "Use or Lose It" legislation previously considered by the House, which simply requires oil producers to drill on the leases they already possess or give them up so another company will have access to the land. It also prohibits the export of Alaskan oil. It is estimated that the NPR-A will yield 10.6 billion barrels of oil. The NPR-A is separate from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), an area currently protected by law as an environmental preservation area.

I voted YES. H.R. 6515 was considered under the suspension of the rules, which requires a 2/3 affirmative vote rather than a simple majority for passage. Although a majority of Members voted YES, the bill did not garner the 2/3 vote necessary for passage. The entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
DEMOCRAT

218

11

0

7

REPUBLICAN

26

162

0

11

TOTAL

244

173

0

18

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

10

0

0

0