May 07

Republicans Vote for Offshore Drilling

The House pass HR 1230, the Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act, with a vote of 266-149. The bill is part of three bills called the American Energy Initiative . The goal is to reverse the Obama administration’s decision to impose a moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon disaster of 2010.

We should indeed open up some additional offshore areas to drill and consider more drilling in Alaska, but to think this is will have more than a marginal effect on gas prices is simply not true.

offshore-drillingMore oil drilling does not necessarily bring down gas prices at the pump. The oil industry is already drilling more than ever, but increased oil demand, speculation, OPEC and world affairs instead control the prices.

For example, Canada drills more than America, and their gas prices have risen just as sharply. So while increased drilling isn’t a bad idea, it is far, far from the things America needs to do to bring down gasoline prices.

The problem with otherwise sensible bill the Republicans passed is by a vote of 241-171, is that they blocked the repeal of one of the many taxpayer-funded subsidies that benefit big oil companies.

Let the oil companies drill more, with heavier regulation, but more importantly, at a higher cost to them. Let Americans benefit more from our natural resources. First, Obama should open the reserves to ease gas prices a bit. Then allow new drilling of which a certain percentage goes straight to the reserves to replace what we used and build it up more. Second, a small percent should go the the continued development of clean energy. Third, allow for windfall taxes. When the companies make profits that pass a certain point, tax them more. Send the money to the American people.

Source: Natural Resources Committee

1 comment

    • Leif on May 12, 2011 at 12:58 pm

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