The proposal to end the moratorium was an amendment to a pending energy bill the House was poised to vote on. The moratorium will not end unless the Senate also votes to terminate it and President Barack Obama signs the legislation into law. The fate of the proposal in the Senate is uncertain.
The Obama administration imposed the six-month moratorium on exploratory drilling in waters more than 500 feet deep in response to the BP oil spill. The moratorium runs through the end of November.
"An indiscriminate blanket moratorium punishes the innocent along with the guilty for the actions of the poor judgment of one reckless company,'' said Rep. Charlie Melancon, a Louisiana Democrat who co-sponsored the amendment.
"If a rig meets all the tough new safety requirements issued by the Department of Interior, if it has been fully inspected and deemed safe, why should it sit idle? And the workers of that rig, why should they go jobless until the arbitrary six-month period is over?'' he said.
Come Monday morning, this news could help to boost some offshore drilling companies- APA, RIG, etc.