Friday, November 21, 2008

Democrats Should Not Retreat on Offshore Oil Drilling Ban

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, left, recently told reporters at the National Press Club that Democrats will not work to reinstate the 26-year ban on oil drilling off the east and west coasts and off the coast of Florida. The Center strongly disagrees with this approach and we strongly suggest that the Democrats should show a backbone in this area. Our coasts are too precious to risk for the sake of our nation's oil addiction.

The congressional drilling moratorium was first enacted in 1982 and had been renewed annually until Democrats decided not to seek another extension when it ran out in October of this year. Congress was reacting to $4 per gallon gasoline and following President Bush's lead in not renewing the Executive Branch moratorium on offshore oil drilling. The lifting of the ban allows oil and gas leasing on most of the outer continental shelf from three miles to 200 miles.

The Center supports the lifting of the moratorium on expanded oil shale development in the West. The Center supports coal and oil shale liquefaction.

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