Three years ago, the nation was transfixed by the daily spread of the titanic oil slick created by the deadly explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling platform. It seemed impossible then that offshore drilling would be allowed to continue without new provisions to ensure improved safety.
In 2013, however, the month of June has closed with the passage in the U.S. House of Representatives of legislation (H.R. 2231 – the Quick And Sloppy Offshore Drilling Act of 2013) that, if signed into law, will expand offshore drilling into the most risky and ecologically vulnerable marine environments while at the same time weakening the provisions designed to prevent offshore drilling disasters like the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico from ever happening again.
Almost every Republican in the House of Representatives voted for the bill. The following six were the exceptions: Rodney Frelinghuysen, Leonard Lance, Frank LoBiondo, Jon Runyan, Mark Sanford, and Christopher Smith.
Unfortunately, more than twice as many Democrats crossed the aisle to join the majority of Republicans to support the legislation to encourage fast and loose offshore drilling for oil. The 16 Democrats who voted in favor of this unwise bill were: