U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, voted in favor of a bill that would permanently block offshore oil drilling off the coasts of Washington and Oregon.
The bill, H.R. 1941, passed the House on Friday, 238 to 189. Herrera Beutler was one of 12 House Republicans to vote in favor. In a media release, Herrera Beutler said she cast her vote to protect the existing coastal economies within her district.
“Washington residents do not believe that drilling off our coast is in our best economic interest, or in the best interest of our coastal ecosystem,” Herrera Beutler said. “I have supported specific solutions to maintain domestic supplies of energy and achieve energy independence, but those efforts shouldn’t include offshore drilling near communities and citizens who don’t support it. Washington supports a $50 billion dollar maritime economy and 191,000 maritime-related jobs.”
The Coastal and Marine Economies Protection Act was introduced to the House floor in March by Rep. Joe Cunningham, D-S.C. Its next stop is the Senate, which may table or vote on the bill.