By Andrew Restuccia - 05/11/11 02:01 PM EDT
It’s just one of eight amendments to offshore drilling legislation that will be come up for a vote on the House floor Wednesday. The legislation would require the Interior Department to sell offshore drilling leases in areas off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts beginning in 2012. It would also expand leasing off the coast of Alaska.
House lawmakers will also continue consideration of a separate Republican drilling bill, which would require that the Interior Department act on offshore permit requests within 30 days, with options for two 15-day extensions.
Debate on the bill began Tuesday night. Republicans rejected three amendments offered by Democrats. A final vote on passage is expected later Wednesday.
The two bills, which are expected to easily pass the House, are part of a broader effort by Republicans to expand domestic oil and gas production in light of high gas prices.
The House approved another drilling bill last week. All three bills were authored by House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (R-Wash.).