Senators promise eastern Gulf of Mexico leasing bill

Senate energy leaders said they will introduce a bill to finally open Outer Continental Shelf Lease Sale 181 acreage in the eastern Gulf of Mexico to oil and gas development-with military and distance exemptions.The bill would instruct Sec. of the Interior Gale A. Norton to develop a leasing program that would begin a year after the bill’s passage, said Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Pete V. Domenici (R-NM) and Chief Minority Member Jeff Bingaman (D-NM).Two other committee members, James M. Talent (R-Mo.) and Byron L. Dorgan (D-ND), are cosponsors. “This bipartisan legislation aims to do something very important-increase our domestic supplies of energy. That&r...

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