U.S. House of Representatives will vote on offshore-drilling bill today

The U.S. House will vote today on a measure to open 8.3 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico to offshore drilling, as Republican leaders try to get in as much mischief as they can before being demoted. The bill is being pushed through under special rules that require a two-thirds majority to pass; many Republicans think enough Democrats are on board to move the legislation to the eager pen of President Bush. The Senate approved the bill earlier this year, while GOP leaders in the House opposed it, hoping instead to win passage of a much broader bill that would have allowed offshore drilling in many other areas around the country. But now House Republicans have scaled back their ambitions, recognizing that limited offshore drilling is better than none! Meanwhile, Bush is also considering lifting a drilling moratorium off of Alaska’s Bristol Bay. Because really, why stop at stupidity when you can have total madness?