GOP proposes penalties for states that oppose offshore drilling
House Republicans unveiled a draft proposal this week that would place fines on states that block offshore gas and oil drilling.I have been in favor of penalizing states that oppose offshore drilling. This is not a bad plan, but I think it could be improved if penalty also increased the federal tax on gasoline sales in states which oppose offshore drilling so that voters would understand the costs of intransigence.
The Republican draft proposal, first reported by The Washington Post, will be discussed at the Natural Resources Committee on Thursday.
It would allow states to disapprove of offshore drilling for gas and oil in half of its lease blocks without facing any penalties.
However, states with proposed lease sales that disapprove of drilling in more than 50 percent of the blocks would have to pay a fee equal to at least one-tenth the estimated revenue the government would have made if it had leased the blocks.
The proposal also sets up a revenue-sharing scheme for states that allow drilling.
The move would help pressure local politicians to fall in line with President Trump’s plan to increase offshore leasing.