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Offshore oil drilling? Not so fast.

Posted by sam222 on December 17, 2008

(CNSNews.com) -House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told CNSNews.com on Wednesday that restoring the ban on new offshore oil drilling leases “will be a top priority for discussion next year” if the Democrats retain control of Congress.

The congressional Democratic leadership decided this week not to try to extend the ban, which they might have attempted by including it in the continuing resolution that passed the House today in order to keep the government funded past the end of the fiscal year, which comes to a close on September 30.

The existing ban on selling new offshore oil drilling leases is part of the fiscal 2008 Interior Department appropriation. When that appropriation expires on September 30, so does the drilling ban.

“I am sure it will be a top priority for discussion next year,” Hoyer said when CNSNews.com asked him if Democrats would fight to restore the ban.

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