House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Ed Markey (D-MA) offered this amendment to H.R. 1, the Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011, to eliminate up to $53 billion in taxpayer subsidies by closing a royalty payment loophole for oil companies operating offshore. At a time when many Americans are struggling to make ends meet, this amendment would prevent some of the world's biggest and most profitable oil companies from drilling for free on publicly owned resources. On February 18, the House rejected the Markey amendment by a vote of 174-251 (House roll call vote 109). YES IS THE PRO-ENVIRONMENT VOTE.