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The Need for Offshore Drilling

Location: Washington, DC

THE NEED FOR OFFSHORE DRILLING -- HON. GENE GREEN (Extensions of Remarks - July 29, 2008)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

* Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas. Madam Speaker, with today's high price of gasoline, I would like to insert into the RECORD an article from the Baytown Sun which highlights the need for additional domestic resources through offshore drilling.
[From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Jun. 20, 2008]


Led by President Bush and Sen. John McCain, a growing number of politicians say they are willing to drop strict environmental protections to allow more offshore drilling for oil. Our response: ``what took y'all so long?''

It's pretty clear to most of us on the Sun editorial board that when it comes to energy, what we really need is to produce more, use less, and find new sources of power.

This nation cannot afford to put off serious energy reform any longer. Let's start with more domestic drilling by lifting the 27-year-old federal ban on offshore drilling. The moratorium applies to all federal waters, which extend three miles from the coastlines.

However, offshore drilling is no panacea. It certainly doesn't provide a short-term answer to the high gasoline prices that have angered Americans. It would take up to five years to start pumping significant amounts of oil from new wells.

But it's a step in the right direction. Working Americans rightly believe their government has a duty to finally assure the energy security of this country.

All across this state and nation, people are hurting. Small farmers, truckers, and taxi drivers are unable to cover costs. Small business owners are struggling to meet payroll. The cost of living is rising, and the value of paychecks is falling. All of this is in large part because the price of oil is too high, and the supply of oil is too uncertain.

The American people have had enough of high gas prices and our government's unwillingness to take care of us.

According to the U.S. Department of the Interior and Congressman Ted Poe, there are approximately 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and more than 86 billion barrels of oil yet to be discovered along the Outer Continental Shelf in the lower 48 States. That is enough oil or natural gas to:

Maintain current oil production for 87 years and current natural gas production for 68 years;

Produce gasoline for 116 million cars and heating oil for 47 million homes for 15 years;

Replace current imports from the Persian Gulf for 59 years;

Produce sufficient natural gas to heat 75 million homes for 60 years;

And supply current industrial and commercial needs for 29 years or supply electricity generating needs for 55 years.

We are the only country in the world that does not fully cultivate their oil and natural gas resources. There is absolutely no good reason why we cannot expand current offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico to the coasts of Florida, California and the eastern seaboard.

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