House votes to direct 80 percent of Deepwater Horizon fines to Gulf states

The Obama administration and most members of Congress agree that 80 percent of the BP fine should go toward the Gulf Coast for environmental restoration, but Congress was expected to act on this consensus. BP fines could be as high as $25 billion for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The Scalise language was one of eight amendments the House considered to the energy bill, which they were expected to approve later Thursday evening. Members accepted two additional amendments today. One from Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) would allow for expedited development of renewable energy projects on federal lands and waters, and it passed 250-171.

The other, from Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho), would minimize National Environmental Policy act requirements for a geothermal exploration test project so a project can quickly move forward if resources are found, and it passed 244-177.

Other amendments that failed or were withdrawn were from:

Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), to clarify that the bill does not allow oil and gas drilling on the northern coast of California. Failed 267-253.

Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii), to require offshore oil and gas leases to have specific safety requirements. Failed 189-228.

Ed Markey (D-Mass.), to prohibit the export of any natural gas produced from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Failed 168-254.

Markey, to require companies holding Clinton-era royalty relief leases, which lets them drill on public lands offshore without paying a royalty, to renegotiate those leases before they can bid on new leases. Failed 183-238.

Rush Holt (D-NJ), to affirm that nothing in the bill will affect funds available to deposit in the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Withdrawn.

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