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June 28, 2006
Dear Member of Congress:
Rising energy costs are taking their toll on millions of American households. Price increases for natural gas in particular have created an enormous burden on the over 60 million American homes that depend on natural gas for heating, as well as the 90 percent of new power plants that depend on natural gas.
Increased energy production in the Outer-Continental Shelf would lead to lower energy prices and help strengthen the American economy. These are goals that every member of Congress should be fighting to achieve.
According to the U.S. Department of Interior’s Minerals Management Service, the offshore areas currently banned from development likely contain a mean estimate of 18.92 billion barrels of oil and 85.79 trillion cubic feet of natural gas that are “technically recoverable.”
Yet the United States is the only developed country in the world that bans development of most of its offshore gas resources.
This self-imposed ban has put our nation at a competitive disadvantage with Cuba and China. Cuba recently announced that it has negotiated lease agreements with China to explore oil and gas production just 50 miles off the coast of Key West, Florida. The United States can’t develop resources in the Florida Straits, yet Cuba and China can.
For too long the federal government has tied the hands of state governments that wish to permit oil and natural gas leasing in their adjacent offshore zones. Congress should remove the moratoria on offshore gas production and share the federal royalties with the States that decide to allow offshore production, just as they share the royalties from production on federal lands with the States.
David A. Ridenour Myron Ebell, Director Grover Norquist
Vice President Energy & Global Warming Policy President
National Center for Public Policy Research Competitive Enterprise Institute Americans for Tax Reform
J. William Lauderback Paul M. Weyrich Thomas A. Schatz
Executive Vice President National Chairman President
The American Conservative Union Coalitions for America Council for Citizens Against Gov’t Waste
Matt Kibbe H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D. Stephen J. Entin
President and CEO Senior Fellow President and Exec. Director
FreedomWorks National Center for Policy Analysis Inst. for Research on the Econ. of Taxation
Karl Peterjohn Kenneth W. Chilton, Ph.D. Milt Copulos
Executive Director Director, Institute for Study of President
Kansas Taxpayers Network Economics and the Environment* National Defense Council Foundation
Niger Innis James L. Martin Forest Thigpen
National Spokesman President President
Congress of Racial Equality 60 Plus Association Mississippi Center for Public Policy
Drew Johnson John Taylor John McClaughry
President President President
Tennessee Center for Policy Research Virginia Institute for Public Policy Ethan Allen Institute
Tom DeWeese Gregory M. Cohen Bruce Chapman
President President and CEO President
American Policy Center American Highway Users Alliance Discovery Institute
George Landrith Jon Reisman C. Preston Noell III
President Adjunct Fellow President
Frontiers of Freedom Maine Heritage Policy Center Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.
Jim Sims William J. Murray E. Calvin Beisner
Executive Director Chairman Assoc. Prof. Hist. Theology & Soc. Ethics
Partnership for America Religious Freedom Action Coalition Knox Theological Seminary
Tom Borelli Richard O. Rowland William Greene
Portfolio Manager President President
Free Enterprise Action Fund Grassroot Institute of Hawaii RightMarch.com
Paul K. Driessen Fred Grau Michael S. Coffman
Senior Policy Advisor Executive Director President
Cmte. for a Constructive Tomorrow Take Back Pennsylvania Environmental Perspectives, Inc.
Candace Oathout Leroy Watson Howard Hutchinson
Chair Legislative Director Executive Director
Citizens Against Recreation Eviction-USA National Grange Coalition of AZ/NM Counties
R. Holt and Jane N. Hogan Thomas H. Werth
Ontario Hardwood Co., Inc. U.S. Army Retired
*Institute is located at Lindenwood University and listed for identification purposes only.