Passing third bill, House says 'drill baby, drill'

May 12, 2011 - 2:58 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican-controlled House has easily passed the last of three bills to expedite and expand oil and gas drilling.

In a 243-179 vote Thursday, the House passed a measure that would open up areas off the West and East coasts, Alaska and the eastern Gulf of Mexico to drilling. The Obama administration pulled back on leasing in some of those spots after the Gulf oil spill last year to further evaluate the environmental consequences. It never considered drilling in the Pacific.

The bill directs the Interior Department to select lease areas based on how much oil and gas they contain.

The measure joins two others passed earlier by the House to speed up drilling and leasing.

None is likely to pass the Senate. All are opposed by the White House.