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Victory on Offshore Drilling?



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AP reports:

Democrats to let offshore drilling ban expire

WASHINGTON – House Democrats will allow a quarter-century ban on drilling for oil off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to expire next week.

Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey is telling reporters that language continuing the moratorium will be omitted this year from a spending bill to keep the government in operating funds after Congress recesses for the election.

Republicans have made lifting the ban a key campaign after gasoline prices soared beyond $4 a gallon this summer and public opinion turned in favor of more drilling. President Bush lifted an executive ban on offshore drilling in July.

The Interior Department estimates there are 18 billion barrels of recoverable oil beneath coastal waters now off-limits.

Pelosi and Co. must have panicked after seeing the reaction to the trial balloon they floated earlier this week. 



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