Part of this strategy is to maintain a moratorium on oil drilling off the East and West coasts of the
Back in 1982, according to the Energy Information Agency, Congress enacted a moratorium on oil and gas drilling off the coast of
Many Republicans in Congress want to lift this moratorium. House Resources Chairman Richard Pombo (R.-Calif.) is pushing legislation that would allow each state to decide individually if it wants drilling off its shores. But congressional Democrats, led by liberal House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.), are adamantly opposed to developing our domestic oil supplies to counter escalating gasoline prices.
I’m with Human Events and we’ve talked about lifting the moratorium on offshore drilling on the East and West coasts. Is that something you would support?
House Resources Chairman Richard Pombo (R.-Calif.): Yes, but what we are moving is a bill that basically turns over to the states the ability to decide whether they want development off their shore. If you do that, you will end up with a number of states that will allow it.
What states do you think will go for that?
How much do you think that will help the oil supply?
Pombo: That will help dramatically. The immediate difference it makes is on natural gas, which is a bigger problem than the oil prices, because natural gas impacts the entire economy and that’s where we would have the most immediate impact and it would be huge.
When could we expect that?
Pombo: We’re going to move a bill this year. Whether or not we can get it through the Senate, I think, is the big question, but I believe the House will pass a bill this year.
Is lifting the moratorium on oil drilling off the East and West coasts on the table to increase the supply of oil?
House Energy Chairman Joe Barton (R.-Tex.): Chairman Pombo of the Resources Committee has jurisdiction on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), and what he’s thinking about doing, what my understanding is, is to give the states sort of an opt-in on a state-by-state basis. They can decide to allow drilling in the federal OCS off their shores, and if they did, states would get an increased royalty share.
Would you support lifting that?
Barton: Oh sure, sure. We have up to a 100 billion barrels of oil and gas in the OCS and in ANWR that are off-limits right now, and that would help our supply a lot.
Doesn’t the oil moratorium put in place by Bush Sr., extended by President Clinton until 2012, that essentially prohibits drilling off the East and West coasts hurt the [oil] supply? Would you support lifting that moratorium?
Sen. Maria Cantwell (D.-Wash.): I’m not sure exactly what you’re referring to—
Cantwell aide: Offshore.
Cantwell: Oh, offshore?
Cantwell: Listen, the
Would you support lifting the moratorium on offshore oil drilling on the East and West coasts?
Sen. John Cornyn (R.-Tex.): Would I support it? Absolutely.
Would you support lifting the moratorium on offshore drilling on the East and West coasts?
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D.-Calif.): No.
No? Now, I’m not trying to be cheeky, but doesn’t that artificially inflate the price if we can’t drill because of legislation?
Feinstein: No, not necessarily at all. The fact of the matter is
Even if we opened it up?
And opened more refineries?
Feinstein: Well, that’s not the issue here. The issue is should there be drilling off the coast of
I’ve been looking at the oil moratorium on offshore drilling on the East and West coasts. Would you support lifting that to increase the oil supply?
Sen. Judd Gregg (R.-N.H.): I think we should give the states the option.
I just talked with Mr. Pombo, and he said there’s actually going to be a bill in the House that will do that. Do you think that will have a chance of passing the Senate?
Gregg: I don’t know. There’s certainly more interest in it now than there has been in the past. There’s also resistance to it. Obviously there’s the issue with
Would you support lifting [the moratorium on oil drilling off the East and West coasts] to immediately impact gas prices and drive them down?
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.): Absolutely not. What we have to do, what our nation has to do, is make a decision to be energy independent. We should be spending our energy dollars on the Middle West, not the
Rep. James Clyburn (D.-S.C): Let me say something else about that. Let’s go back to the State of the