Offshore energy must cope with evolving political environment ///

The 2006 midterm elections are now behind us, as Washington, DC, actively prepares for the 110th Congress to begin in January. Democrats hold majorities in both houses for the first time in 12 years. Yes, it appears that due to this power shift, E&P companies face an uphill challenge to securing increased access to hydrocarbons on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). But a deeper look at the politics, including factors beyond the Beltway in state houses nationwide, shows there is reason for cautious optimism. “Lame duck” legislation. Despite a major electoral shift delivered by voters on Nov. 7, important work could still be done in the old Congress before the holiday recess. Following the election, Senate Democratic leaders promised to work with Republicans in Congress’ “lame duck” session on legislation to expand offshore drilling.

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