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Senate Rejects GOP “Let’s Repeat the BP Disaster Over and Over Again” Bill

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A bit earlier this afternoon, the U.S. Senate did exactly what it should do, soundly rejecting “a Republican plan to allow more coastal oil and gas exploration and to speed the issuance of drilling permits to oil companies” (aka, “let’s repeat the BP disaster over and over again while doing nothing to lower gasoline prices”). The vote was 42-57 against, with both Virginia Senators – Warner and Webb – voting “nay.” In addition, 5 Republicans (DeMint, Lee, Shelby, Snowe and Vitter) voted against Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s bill. Good riddance.

By the way, Jim Webb put out a press release which pretty much defines the phrase, “right for the wrong reasons!” According to Webb, he voted “nay” not because he’s against “opening up more of the nation’s outer continental shelf resources to responsible natural gas and oil exploration,” but instead because he said it failed to a “fair share [of] revenue” and “would deny Virginia the ability to benefit financially from drilling along its own coastline.” In addition, Webb expressed “concerns about the authority this legislation would give the President to reject lease sales without consent of Congress.”  Well, anyway, at least he voted the right way in the end…

Meanwhile, Republicans demonstrated exactly where their priorities are by filibustering “a Democratic bill that would have stripped big oil companies of multi-billion annual tax subsidies.” Of course, as this article explains, the Senators who blocked this bill “have received five times more in campaign contributions from oil and gas interests than those who voted to begin debate.” So there you have it; with Republicans, it’s all about following the Big Oil money, doing the bidding of their Dirty Energy masters (see Allen, George), as opposed to reducing the budget deficit or any other considerations. End of story.