The United States House of representatives has passed a bill reforming the country’s energy policies, including lifting of its 40-year old oil export ban.
The North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act of 2015 was passed on December 3 by recorded vote of 249 in favor and 174 against it.
This bill also amends the Natural Gas Act to revise procedures for consideration by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) of applications for export or import of natural gas, including a deadline for a final decision on a federal authorization within 90 days after FERC issues its final environmental document.
However, as indicated by Reuters, the vote count allows for a potential veto from the US President Barack Obama as it missed the 290 threshold which would allow for a veto-free passage. The President’s veto is highly likely as the White House has voiced opposition to the bill and the repeal of the oil export ban.
Environmentalist groups have also voiced their opposition to the lifting of the ban as they believe the move would result in further intensification of drilling activities off the US coasts increasing the risks of environmental pollution.
World Maritime News Staff