The RESTORE Act is adrift again. While lawmakers had attach the act to a failed transportation bill, the House this week decided to pass a temporary transportation bill sans RESTORE.
Introduced last year, the act was drafted in an effort to direct fine money resulting from BP’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill directly to the Gulf Coast. The RESTORE Act could possibly be added when lawmakers take up a more permanent transportation bill.
“The house passed a ‘Clean’ 90 day short-term transportation extension, which means it had no ‘riders’ such as the Restore Act. The Congress will still have to address a long term Transpo bill that will have amendments and riders and that’s still the most likely vehicle for the Restore Act,” Dan McFaul, chief of staff for Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL) explained IN an email.
While the Senate passed the RESTORE Act last week, the House has yet to manage the task. The act was originally attached to a doomed-from-start transportation bill that aimed to open up unprecedented amounts of the county—both offshore and inland—to energy exploration. The Gulf of Mexico—where the spill spurring RESTORE occurred—would have seen a considerable increase in offshore oil and natural gas drilling activity.
Although Miller was active in getting RESTORE attached to the former house bill, he ultimately voted against the transportation bill. The bill would have allowed drilling only a few miles from Pensacola Beach.