Bush to Lift Ban on Off-Shore Drilling
President Bush will be back in the Rose Garden today, this time to issue an executive order that lifts the ban on off-shore drilling.
The ban, in place since his father was President, will need Congressional approval to take effect.
Democrats say they are for drilling, but argue that oil companies aren't going after the oil where they already have leases. So why open new, protected areas? they ask. Democrats say there are 68 million acres of federal land and waters where oil and gas companies hold leases, but aren't producing oil.
....Democrats support more drilling," [Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen] said. "In fact, what the president hasn't told you is that the oil companies are already sitting on 68 million acres of federal lands with the potential to nearly double U.S. oil production. That is why in the coming days congressional Democrats will vote on 'Use It or Lose It' legislation requiring the big oil companies to develop these resources or lose their leases to someone else who will."
Van Hollen added:
"We cannot drill our way to energy independence."
That reminds me of a statement I frequently write,
"We can't jail ourselves out of our criminal justice problem." The question: Is more drilling a bad idea, a bandaid, like a piece of tape placed over a nail hole on a flat tire or a stepping stone to a solution?
Update: Colorado Congresswoman Diana DeGette on President Bush's order:
“President Bush’s plan is flawed and misguided. It will neither reduce gas prices nor increase energy independence – two things our country and the American consumer desperately need.
“If he really wants to provide relief from high gas prices in the short term, the President must release a portion of the more than 700 million barrels of oil we have put in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. It is the first step in bringing prices down quickly. Longer term, need to work hard to wean ourselves from our dependence on foreign oil.”
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