2001 Scorecard Vote
In early 2001, the Bush administration appeared poised to move forward with a controversial oil and gas leasing program off the east coast of the Gulf of Mexico, known as Lease Sale 181. Environmentalists contended that the routine pollution associated with offshore drilling--not to mention the threat of a deep-water oil spill--could do irreparable damage to Florida's unique and fragile coastline, the vacation and recreation destination for millions of Americans.
During consideration of H.R. 2217, the Fiscal Year 2002 Interior Appropriations bill, Representatives Jim Davis (D-FL) and Joe Scarborough (R-FL) offered an amendment to delay oil and gas leasing off Florida's coastline. On June 21, 2001, the House approved the Davis-Scarborough amendment by a 247-164 vote (House roll call vote 181). YES is the pro-environment vote.
Following the House vote, the Interior Department proposed canceling a large part of Lease Sale 181 while still allowing new leases in the eastern Gulf that may further encroach on sensitive shorelines. The plan would offer new oil and gas leases in a 1.47-million-acre area in the eastern Gulf--scaled back from the 6-million-acre area originally proposed. In July, the Senate voted to table an amendment to prevent any part of Lease Sale 181 from moving forward (Senate vote 4). The House-approved amendment was later stripped from the Energy and Water appropriations bill in conference. The House and Senate approved the conference report on November 1, and President Bush signed it on November 12. Thus the president's compromise plan, which allows some drilling in the eastern Gulf, will go forward.