House Panel Passes Bill Banning BP (BP) From Getting New Offshore Leases

BP (BP) shares are selling off as headlines cross indicating that a House panel has voted to ban the British energy giant from obtaining new offshore leases or drilling permits for as many as seven years.

DJ: “A House panel on Wednesday voted to ban BP PLC from obtaining new offshore leases or drilling permits for as many as seven years if the company winds up paying substantial civil penalties and criminal fines in connection with a prolonged oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The amendment, offered by Rep. George Miller (D, Calif.), was approved by voice vote in the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee. The panel voted to add the measure to a bill that responds to the Gulf spill by dividing responsibility for drilling oversight among three new agencies.”

Needless to say, the new drilling ban would make matters worse for BP. Having seen $100 billion wiped off  its market capitalization since the Gulf oil spill disaster, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration if  we called the co.’s future at this point, questionable.

BP shares slipped 81 cents, or 2.17% to $36.08 at 1:14 p.m. ET in New York Stock Exchange trading.

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