Thompson Backs Move Toward Increasing Off-Shore Drilling
Conservative Republican candidate Jeff Thompson today applauded President Bush's lead to open vast areas for offshore drilling to provide relief for American's facing fuel prices spiraling out of control under the current liberal leadership in Congress.
Thompson, endorsed by the current 4th Congressional District officeholder Jim McCrery, was the first in the campaign to call for the United States to assert its energy independence through "drilling American soil for American oil for Americans.
The 43-year-old Bossier City business and civic leader has also called for the loosening of the regulatory strangleholds that have prevented the construction of new refineries for more than three decades. Thompson has promised to push for the development of alternative energy sources, including more nuclear, solar and wind power, and to promote conservation to decrease demand.
"Becoming more self-reliant for our nation's energy needs is not just an issue of the price of fuel, it is an issue of national security," Thompson said. "When we have to rely on often-unfriendly nations for so much of the fuel that makes the United States go, we' are asking for trouble.
There are two prohibitions on offshore drilling, one imposed by Congress and another by executive order signed by the first President Bush in 1990. The curent president, trying to ease market tensions and boost supply, called last month for Congress to lift its prohibition before he did so himself.
"The only thing standing between the American people and these vast oil resources is action from the U.S. Congress,"Bush said in a statement in the Rose Garden.
Bush criticized Congress for failing to lift its own ban on offshore drilling. "Failure to act is unacceptable," he said. "And now, Americans are paying at the pump."
Congressional Democrats have rejected the push to lift the drilling moratorium, accusing the president of hoping the U.S. can drill its way out of a problem.
Bush's proposal echoes a call by Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain, to open the Outer Continental Shelf for exploration. Democrat Barack Obama has opposed the idea, preferring after-the-fact energy rebates and steped up efforts to develop alternative fuels.
"Congress should enact encentives for the use of more energy efficient vehicles, and we, as consumers, have to be responsible for using energy wisely," Thompson said. "But when there's up to 18 billion barrels of oil within our reach, there's no excuse for not getting it.
"The longer the liberals in Congress delay, the longer it will take for American families to get relief from crushing fuel prices."