2010 Scorecard Vote
In response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the largest environmental disaster in our nation's history, the House of Representatives debated H.R. 3534, the Consolidated Land, Energy, and Aquatic Resources Act, or CLEAR Act, which was introduced by Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick Rahall (D-WV).
The CLEAR Act included unlimited liability for responsible parties that cause oil spills, significant offshore drilling and regulatory reforms, language designed to strengthen safety and environmental standards for new offshore drilling and renegotiated royalty payments, and modest Gulf restoration proposals. The CLEAR Act also included full funding, more than $900 million, for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Unfortunately, an amendment to lift the six-month federal moratorium on deepwater drilling early, pending meeting certain safety requirements, was approved on the House floor. On balance, however, the bill did far more good than harm and was a significant step forward.
On July 30, the House took up the CLEAR Act. Representative Bill Cassidy (R-LA) introduced a motion to send H.R. 3534 back to the House Natural Resources Committee with instructions to report the bill back immediately with an amendment terminating the deepwater drilling moratorium. This motion, technically termed a motion to recommit, would have recklessly resumed deepwater drilling, and it failed by a vote of 166–239 (House roll call vote 512). No is the pro environment vote. Later that day, the CLEAR Act passed the House by a vote of 209–193 (House roll call vote 513). Yes is the pro environment vote. Though the bill passed the full House, H.R. 3534 never came up for a vote in the Senate.