Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Domestic Drilling Update

We all know that when we are forced to pay $3 a gallon at the pump it is the result of selfish liberal politics. Their constant obstruction of domestic drilling, oil refineries, and nuclear power; in addition to their raising of the gas tax and their implementation of expensive fuel regulations and restrictions has collectively driven up fuel prices ten fold.

Late last month there was good news when the House passed a bill to repeal the moratorium on drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf. The Washington Times explains the ramifications:

"The potentially liberated OCS area, where federal rules have banned drilling,
is believed to contain 19 billion barrels of oil and 86 trillion cubic feet of
natural gas. Given that current U.S. proved reserves total 22 billion barrels of
oil and about 190 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, the OCS oil and gas
reserves unleashed by the House last month represent a huge step in the right
direction. With the support of 40 Democrats, the Deep Ocean Energy Resources
(DOER) Act passed the House by a 232-187 vote. Under DOER, drilling would still
be banned for the first 50 miles off the coast. However, with the approval of a
state's governor and legislature, a state could repeal that ban by petitioning
the federal Department of Interior to authorize drilling within that 50-mile
limit. Unless a state petitioned Interior to maintain the moratorium beyond 50
miles, DOER would permit drilling in waters 50 to 100 miles offshore. To induce
states to permit expanded drilling, DOER offers them a larger share of the
royalties. In a concession to Florida, DOER bans drilling within 100 miles of
the state's west coast. "

Well, like every other good bill, this one has to go through the Senate of Lords which has persistently blocked drilling in ANWR. Senator Frist is planning to bring up a compromise bill when the Senate gets back into session that will deal just with the oil in the Gulf of Mexico. The Hill is reporting on significant opposition from open borders Republican Martinez of Florida. This will be yet another chance for Bill Frist to finally show some leadership on a bill that can potentially help American consumers more directly than anything else. For all the detais read the full Wash. Times editorial here and the Hill report here.

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