July 17, 2008(Key vote)
Title: Oil Exploration in the National Petroleum Reserve - Alaska
Vote Smart's Synopsis:
Vote to pass a bill that additionally facilitates drilling in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska and encourages oil companies to drill on already leased land in the United States.
Requires the Secretary of the Interior to conduct an "expeditious environmentally responsible program" of competitive leasing of oil and gas in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska with no fewer than one lease sale in the Reserve each year during the period 2009 through 2013 (Sec. 2).
Requires the Secretary of Transportation to facilitate the construction of pipelines to transport oil and gas from the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska to existing infrastructure on the North Slope of Alaska, and requires the President to facilitate construction of a natural gas pipeline from Alaska to United States markets (Secs. 3 & 4).
Reimposes prohibition on crude oil exports from Alaska (Sec. 6).
Prohibits the Secretary of the Interior from issuing to a person any new lease that authorizes the exploration for or production of oil or natural gas unless the person is diligently developing the Federal lands that are subject to existing leases or the person has relinquished ownership interest in all Federal oil and gas leases under which oil and gas are not being diligently developed (Sec. 7).
NOTE: THIS VOTE WAS TAKEN UNDER A SUSPENSION OF THE RULES TO CUT OFF DEBATE EARLY AND VOTE TO PASS THE BILL, THEREBY REQUIRING A TWO-THIRDS MAJORITY FOR PASSAGE.