Washington, D.C., September 16, 2008—Today the House of
Representatives is debating a bill to change the federal rules on oil and gas
exploration off of the nation’s coastline. Pressured all summer by increasing
voter anger over high energy prices, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has presented
today’s bill as a compromise between pro-and anti-drilling forces. The content
of the bill, however, delivers only a tiny increase in domestic energy
production while dramatically expanding other restrictions.
who believes this is a pro-drilling bill is fooling themselves,” said
Competitive Enterprise Institute Senior Fellow Iain Murray. “It allows a
tiny amount of drilling while pushing forward all the fever dreams of the
anti-energy environmentalist movement. This is not a compromise. It
is a sell-out to the anti-energy zealots.”
In enacted, the Pelosi bill would:
· Permanently ban access to about 97 percent of the
undersea oil lying within 50 miles of the California coast.
· Continue the ban on
energy production in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico.
· Impose a brand-new
ban on oil and gas leases in Alaska’s
coastal waters out to 50 miles.
· Not allow states
that approve new leases beyond 50 miles to share royalties with the federal
government, thus stripping any financial incentive for states to stand up to
environmental pressure groups, who will continue to agitate against any new oil
and gas operations offshore.
“If I didn’t know better, I’d
think this bill was written by OPEC, since it is designed to prevent U.S. energy companies from competing with Persian Gulf oil producers,” said CEI Senior Fellow Marlo
Energy Experts Available for
Marlo Lewis, Ph.D.
Director of Energy
CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan
public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited
government. For more information about
CEI, please visit our website at www.cei.org.