The Democrats are tossing a big part of their environmental policy overboard to reach a compromise on offshore drilling, reports the New York Times. A shift in public opinion, coupled with Republican pressure on the issue, has convinced the party to reverse its long-held opposition to back a deal allowing some new drilling. The compromise bill is tied to clean energy initiatives.
The proposal, to be voted on next week, would allow drilling 50 miles offshore if states consent. While acknowledging that the compromise represents a stark change in Democratic policy, Republicans and oil companies say the plan doesn't go far enough. "The reality is if we don’t have something in the bill," they will be "drilling three miles offshore," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.