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House Democrats seek to block West Coast, Arctic offshore drilling

House Democrats seek to block West Coast, Arctic offshore drilling

Democrats are again seeking to block future offshore drilling in the Arctic and along the West Coast in an effort that may face better odds with the party’s control of the Senate.

“Offshore drilling poses unacceptable risks, and the science and public opinion are clear: we should not put our oceans and fisheries, coastal communities, economies and planet at risk just to enrich the fossil fuel industry,” said Rep. Jared HuffmanJared William HuffmanDemocrats don't trust GOP on 1/6 commission: 'These people are dangerous' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: White House rescinds Trump proposal to restrict greenhouse gas consideration | Texas governor limits shipping natural gas out-of-state amid power shortages | Lawmakers clash over gun prohibition in Natural Resources committee room Lawmakers clash over gun prohibition in Natural Resources Committee room MORE (D-Calif.), who introduced the bills.

“It’s past time that we permanently ban new offshore drilling and show our united commitment to combating climate change and to give the Pacific Coast and the Arctic Ocean the protections their communities and ecosystems deserve," he added.

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The House passed similar legislation in 2019, along with others to block offshore drilling along the East Coast, as well, but the efforts stalled in the then-Republican-led Senate.

A companion bill will be led by Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.). 

The legislation comes as the Trump administration swiftly pushed ahead leases to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge on its last full day in office.

While Huffman’s bill wouldn’t address the area covered by the sale, it would block drilling in the nearby outer continental shelf.