Half a Loaf on OCS Exploration

By February 9, 2006Energy

Today the Interior Department announced their five-year plan for exploration of the Outer Continental Shelf. You remember — this is the 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas that sits below the surface untapped, 85% of it subject to a federal moratorium while we pay the highest prices in the world for natural gas. We remain the only country in the world that limits access to its own natural resources, thereby adversely affecting our own competitiveness. How dumb.

In any event, here’s a link to our press release. Basically, it says that this is half a loaf. We’re glad that this plan will allow some exploration at last, but not nearly enough, in our view. Remember, we manufacturers use a third of the nation’s energy. We use it to power the economy and to make prosperity for the nation and the rest of the world.

Chairman Richard Pombo (R-CA) of the House Resources Committee was slightly more positive than we were, but agreed that “more must be done.” He’s been a leader in helping to open domestic supplies of energy in order to ease the burden of soaring costs on consumers and manufacturers alike.

Here’s a link to Interior’s five-year plan. We’ll file comments with them, urging a wider area for exploration, but we’re glad they are at least getting the conversation started and moving in the right direction.