House Panel Votes to Block New BP Drilling Firm facing 7-year ban on applying for new offshore leases By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff Posted Jul 15, 2010 12:58 AM CDT 11 comments Comments BP may face a ban on offshore drilling because of fatalities in the Deepwater Horizon disaster and the 2005 blast at this Texas refinery that killed 15 workers. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, file) (Newser) – BP faces being banned from new offshore drilling for up to 7 years under a measure passed by the House Natural Resources Committee. The amendment to a sweeping oil reform bill doesn't mention BP by name, but bans firms that have had more than 10 fatalities at drilling facilities or refineries resulting from violation of safety laws from applying for offshore leases, Reuters reports. Rep. Bart Stupak downplayed concerns that blocking from BP from new drilling would affect its ability to pay for the Gulf cleanup. "I'm not going to allow BP to drill more so they make more money so they can pay us, and as they do that then there's more environmental damage," he said. "It's a pretty big corporation. I'm sure they can find some money."