Fox News reports that Rep. John Peterson (R-PA) has introduced an amendment to s spending bill that would free up offshore drilling more than 50 miles off our coast, enabling American companies to drill in waters already being exploited by the Chinese, among others.
"For 27 years, Congress has deliberately locked up vast offshore oil and natural gas reserves," Peterson said, according to USA Today. "With the price at the pump increasing daily - with no end in sight - and the cost of natural gas trading at record levels, Congress needs to unlock these reserves."
Most oil production and exploration has been banned since 1981.
According to Peterson's office, the U.S. Minerals Management Service estimates that 86 billion barrels of oil and 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas can be found along the U.S. outer continental shelf, the area affected by the ban.
Peterson is not alone in his desire to open up the shelf. An effort to unlock the resources has been underway in Congress in recent years, and several interest groups are backing the effort, too.
"Tapping America's huge reserve of deep ocean energy helps us fight terrorism and increases our domestic energy supply, which will help put downward pressure on gasoline prices," Greg Schnacke, President of Americans for American Energy, said in a news release, adding: "With Americans suffering at the gas pump and with higher energy bills, it's a no-brainer that the OCS should be developed."
Let us watch very carefully for those who vote to restrict oil supplies (and thereby keep prices high). We have an election coming up and gasoline prices are an issue, in case you haven't noticed.
Hat tip: Bryan Demko