Today, Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-19) voted against legislation brought forward by Republican leaders aimed at weakening pollution standards for oil drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf. H.R. 2021 would impede the Environmental Protection Agency's efforts to ensure new drilling permits comply with the Clean Air Act and end the ability of local businesses, families, and stakeholders from contesting new permits issued for drilling in their own communities.
"Domestic oil production is at its highest point in years, and yet oil companies continue to reap historic profits by charging Americans more and more at the pump," said Congressman Deutch. "Disregarding the health and safety of the American people may boost oil company profits, but doing so will not lower gas prices, enhance our energy security, or create sustainable jobs. The Republican leadership has made doing the oil companies' bidding more important than stopping China from manipulating its currency, closing loopholes for companies that ship jobs overseas, and other job-creating efforts introduced by Democrats."
Impetus behind H.R. 2021 is largely due to claims by the oil company Shell that the Environmental Protection Agency has taken five years to complete its application to expand drilling in the Arctic. However, timelines released by the EPA show that Shell's permits have come within three to six months of completion multiple times, and that delays are only a result of Shell's own changes to its application.