Battle Set on U.S. Offshore Drilling

In the six months since President Bush warned of the country’s “addiction” to foreign oil, prices have increased a further $10 per barrel, and the Middle East faces the prospect of regional war. So it might come as no surprise to see the Senate joining the House in passing legislation vastly expanding the areas open to offshore drilling in a quest for what proponents describe as “energy security” (Orlando Sentinel). But the Senate bill, passed late Tuesday (AP), differs substantially from a House of Representatives measure passed in June, raising doubts about the prospects for new energy legislation this year.