Congress Approves Offshore Drilling Near Chesapeake Bay

During a Natural Resources Committee markup today, an amendment to prevent offshore drilling near the Chesapeake Bay was defeated in the Republican-dominated House of Representatives.

It’s been almost a year since the Deepwater Horizon exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico. The event crippled the deepwater Macondo well, and resulted in the worst offshore oil spill in American history.

Apparently, politicians are more concerned with appeasing irritated oil companies than ensuring that such a costly disaster never occurs again.

The amendment offered by Congressman John Sarbanes would have eliminated a section of H.R. 1230, the Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act, which would require lease sales for oil and natural gas drilling off the cost of the Delmarva Peninsula. The amendment failed by a vote of 28 to 14.

“As the tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico vividly demonstrated, offshore drilling operations can never eliminate the risk of a major disaster,” said Sarbanes. “The untold damage being done to marine ecosystems, fishing and tourism industries, and the Gulf economy would wreak havoc on our region if a similar disaster occurred near the Chesapeake Bay.”

In addition to concerns related to the Chesapeake Bay, the area infringes on critical training areas for the U.S. Navy. The Department of Defense concluded that more than 78% of the Lease 220 area would occur in areas where military operations would be impeded by drilling structures and related activities.

In the remaining 22% of the lease area, major commercial shipping channels for Norfolk and the Chesapeake Bay would conflict with drilling operations. If those restrictions are accounted for, then the amount of recoverable resources for this parcel drops to 13 million barrels of oil and 100 billion cubic feet of natural gas, not even enough to meet the U.S.’s energy needs for one day.

Related Reading:

New Gulf Coast Drilling Approved

Offshore Drilling: Is Energy Worth The Ecological Effects Of Oil?

BP Signs Offshore Drilling Deal In Caspian Sea

Image Credit: Flickr - autiscy

Love This? Never Miss Another Story.


Craig Hemphill
Craig Hemphill4 years ago

Until we have reliable abundant alternate energy sources, oil is still the one we need. America has the largest coal deposits in the world. Our oil deposits actually swamp Saudi Arabia. The powers that be have been using up everyone else's first. Simple economics. Now about the drilling, it is safer to drill in more shallow water than the deep sea drilling with the horrific accident and pollution damage. There is more information and experience in dealing with the shallow accidents than the deep one. Horizon originally applied for a shallow drill but was denied by our government. They were approved for the more dangerous deep sea drilling! Then, our government denied the help of foreign governments that actually have the experience in these deep disasters. So, now Chesapeake Bay, all that marine life is concentrated around there. Definitely dangerous. My question, is it shallow or deep sea drilling. I believe that we need the oil, (unfortunately), for now, but we need to be very careful where we drill. This bay is not the place, just like the Montery Bay is not. Also, all should think about how much each of use oil in thousands of products we use on a daily basis. It will take another 50 years to start to achieve many of all our dreams. It doesn't happend over night, but over a long period of time with plenty of money and brains.

Madeline L.
Madeline L.4 years ago

When will we wake up!

Ayaka Inu
Ayaka Inu4 years ago

Drilling should not be permitted anywhere... people don't deserve the material they take from the planet.

Judith Howard
Judith Howard4 years ago

Have the boneheads learned nothing? Hey, boneheads this is my planet and the future generations planet too. Stop robbing us to line your expensive pockets!

Pam W.
Pami W.4 years ago

When oil is of no value or unfordable then we can save the wild life, I pray some survive mans greed.

Stella W.
Stelizan L.4 years ago

Disgusting - "appeasing irritated oil companies" my backside, they're only ensuring that their own pockets are lined even further!!! ANY kind of offshore drilling anywhere should STOP!!!

Cindy C.
Cindy C.4 years ago


MaƂgorzata Ć.
Malgorzata Zmuda4 years ago

zniszczenia dokonane przez cz³owieka s± potworne, czasem wstyd mi, ¿e jestem cz³owiekiem

Gloria W.
Gloria W.4 years ago

bunch of idiots!!

Cheryl B.
Cheryl B.4 years ago