Senate approves Gulf of Mexico OCS leasing bill

The US Senate, by a 71-25 vote, passed legislation Aug. 1 to expand federal oil and gas leasing in the Gulf of Mexico.The measure, which calls for leasing of parts of the controversial Outer Continental Shelf Sale 181 and 181 South areas in the eastern gulf, faces an uncertain future. It almost certainly will wind up in conference for reconciliation with a more ambitious measure the House passed June 29 on OCS leasing reform.The Senate’s Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act calls for the leasing of 2.5 million acres within 1 year and 5.8 million additional acres as soon as practicable.It excludes leasing until June 30, 2022, of acreage within 125 miles of Florida’s west coast an...

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