Friday, June 30, 2006

Deep-ocean oil exploration


Deep-ocean oil exploration
America has been blessed with vast oil and natural gas reserves, Heritage’s Ben Lieberman reports, many of them underwater, miles off America’s shores.
These deep-ocean reserves, studies show, could supply several years of energy consumption, but environmental restrictions imposed in the 1990s mean that 85
percent of these areas are off-limits to exploration or drilling.

In fact, Canada already allows offshore drilling, and even Cuba may get into the
game—just 45 miles from American shores, using technologies that are less
advanced than anything an American company would have access to.

As Lieberman reports in a separate paper, “America stands alone in the world as the only nation that has placed a substantial amount of it domestic oil and natural gas potential off-limits.” He concludes that one bill recently introduced in the House, the
Deep Ocean Energy Resources Act of 2006, “would allow increases in the supply of
domestic oil and gas and thereby improve the prospects for a more affordable
energy future.”

It's a shame that Canada and Cuba can take advantage of our natural resources, but we cannot. Technology exists now to extract oil and gas much more cleanly, thus better able to preserve the natural environment. With constant turmoil in the Middle East, perhaps it is time to make better use of our natural resources here, while planning for long-term energy alternatives.

H.R. 4761, a bill "to provide for exploration, development, and production activities for mineral resources on the outer Continental Shelf, and for other purposes" was on the floor of the House this evening (Wednesday, June 29). There may be status updates soon.

Here is the text of H.R. 4761.
Here is the status of H.R. 4761.
Here is information regarding H.R. 4761 from the Congressional Budget Office.


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