The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed a measure requiring the Obama administration to hold the sale of mineral leases in the Gulf of Mexico and Virginia this year, as scheduled. The bill now moves to the Senate, and that body should pass it as well.
But the administration should not need an order from Congress to recognize that the Gulf lease sales are important for our region’s economic recovery. The White House also needs to admit that any drilling in those new leases would be years away and would surely be done under new safety standards approved since the BP spill.
The House measure, which passed 266-149, would reinstate three lease sales in the Gulf that were scheduled for this year. All members of Louisiana’s congressional delegation, including metro area Reps. Steve Scalise, Cedric Richmond and Jeff Landry, voted for the bill.