House Bans New Oil Drilling in Great Lakes
Prohibition against drilling in the Great Lakes was recently approved by the House of Representatives, 265-157, as an amendment to a bill that would allocate $23.7 billion in the next fiscal year for energy and water development projects. The amendment bars the Army Corps of Engineers from allotting funds to issue new permits for oil or gas drilling under the Great Lakes. Seventy Republicans, one-third of those who voted, joined nearly all the Democrats in voting to block Great Lakes drilling. Among those in favor were four of the seven Republicans from Michigan, six of the 11 from Ohio and six of the 10 from Illinois. Some of the Republicans and Democrats were concerned about the potential for oil spills or accidental release of dangerous hydrogen sulfide that could contaminate drinking water and disrupt fishing and tourism.