Rock the House
In a series of votes that weren’t even close, the Republican-controlled House took steps yesterday to block the Bush administration’s plans for oil and gas drilling on natural monuments, delay the sale of oil-drilling leases off the coast of Florida, and prevent the rollback of tougher regulations for hard-rock mining on federal land. The House also chose not to go ahead with an administration plan to allow the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to ignore citizen lawsuits filed under the Endangered Species Act. Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-N.Y.) said, “This clearly demonstrates that the majority of Congress, by a sizable margin, is environmentally sensitive and wants [the administration’s] policy to recognize that.” The House votes were on amendments to a natural-resources spending bill, which now heads to the Senate.