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Republicans propose penalties for states that oppose offshore drilling

Republicans propose penalties for states that oppose offshore drilling
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House Republicans unveiled a draft proposal this week that would place fines on states that block offshore gas and oil drilling.

The Republican draft proposal, first reported by The Washington Post, will be discussed at the Natural Resources Committee on Thursday. 

It would allow states to disapprove of offshore drilling for gas and oil in half of its lease blocks without facing any penalties.

However, states with proposed lease sales that disapprove of drilling in more than 50 percent of the blocks would have to pay a fee equal to at least one-tenth the estimated revenue the government would have made if it had leased the blocks.

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The proposal also sets up a revenue-sharing scheme for states that allow drilling.

The move would help pressure local politicians to fall in line with President TrumpDonald John TrumpCorker: US must determine responsibility in Saudi journalist's death Five takeaways from testy Heller-Rosen debate in Nevada Dem senator calls for US action after 'preposterous' Saudi explanation MORE’s plan to increase offshore leasing.

Earlier this year, Trump called for offshore drilling in nearly all U.S. coastal waters, negating a drilling ban former-President Obama imposed near the end of his term.

Many Democrats and some Republicans in coastal areas have resisted Trump’s plan, and some have pledged to keep the federal government from allowing offshore leasing in their states.

The pushback led Trump’s interior secretary, Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeHUD official quits amid Interior Department watchdog controversy Overnight Energy: Outdoor retailer Patagonia makes first Senate endorsements | EPA withdraws Obama uranium milling rule | NASA chief sees 'no reason' to dismiss UN climate report Interior Department sued over withholding details on trophy permits, endangered species MORE to tell Congress he would scale back Trump’s plan.

Democrats are opposed to the proposal, arguing it could cost states millions or billions in fees if they choose to oppose drilling.

Republicans on the committee have said that the proposal could still be changed, the Post reported.