Senate energy panel to vote on offshore drilling-safety bill next week

Bingaman unveiled a substitute amendment to the bill at the end of June with Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), the ranking Republican on the panel, aimed at securing bipartisan support for the legislation.

But Murkowski's spokesman said the amendment does not guarantee the Alaska Republican’s vote, noting it depends on what happens at the markup, which is expected to include several other proposed amendments.

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) said Thursday she would offer an amendment that provides coastal states a significant share of revenues from offshore energy development in federal waters.

Gulf of Mexico states are already entitled to some revenue-sharing, but Landrieu wants that sped up and extended to other states to provide an incentive for backing drilling off their shores.

Revenue-sharing — which Murkowski strongly backs — has proven to be a sticking point in previous drilling debates, with other lawmakers, including Bingaman, arguing that revenue from offshore drilling should go to the federal Treasury.

The committee will also vote next week on a separate bill to coordinate permitting of oil-and-gas production off Alaska’s coast, conduct a survey of oil-and-gas resources, slash royalty waivers for offshore oil-and-gas production and increase federal loan guarantees for a planned natural-gas pipeline in Alaska.

The drilling bills were not included in Thursday's committee markup. 


—This post was updated at 11:34 a.m.

Ben Geman contributed