2002 Scorecard Vote
In May 2002, the Bush administration spent $235 million to buy back oil and gas rights and stop offshore drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, where Florida Governor Jeb Bush had opposed oil development. This move prompted a request from California Governor Gray Davis and other elected officials in California to do the same for 36 undeveloped leases off the coast of Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. Interior Secretary Gale Norton denied their requests.
During House consideration of H.R. 5093, the Department of Interior appropriations bill for fiscal year 2003, Representative Lois Capps (D-CA) introduced an amendment to prohibit drilling activity in the 36 California offshore oil leases. On July 17, 2002, the House approved the amendment by a 252-172 vote (House roll call vote 315). YES is the pro-environment vote. The Senate later approved a similar resolution by unanimous consent, introduced by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), for its Interior bill. However, at press time the Senate had not yet passed its Interior bill, and the fate of this provision remained uncertain.