In 1981, when US natural gas prices were the lowest in the industrialized world, Congress passed a ban on energy exploration covering more than 85% of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). Of course, in the ensuing 20+ years, policy-makers (held hostage by the radical enviro movement) have driven folks away from coal, made it harder to build refineries, almost impossible to get the necessary permits for a nuclear plant, or to explore for oil just about anywhere — especially where it’s plentiful, like Alaska. So consumers turned to natural gas.
So let’s see: demand soared, supply didn’t keep up because of the moratorium. Guess what happened to price? Yup, we now pay the highest prices in the world for natural gas, a price (unlike oil) that is set locally, not globally. In short, we’ve done it to ourselves, all the while sitting on at least 420 trillion cubic feet of the stuff.
So along comes Rep. John Peterson (R-Pa) with a plan to lift the moratorium. He succeeded in committee last week — thanks to the help of many of you who weighed in. The Interior Appropriations bill is on the House floor today. There will be attempts to strip this language out of the bill, since nothing’s ever final in this city.
Please take a moment to click here and drop your Member of Congress a note and tell them to support the Interior Appropriations bill (H.R. 5386) just as it came out of Committee, with the Peterson language in there, so we can tap our own resources and begin to drive down the price of energy. This is now a sprint, not a marathon.
Let’s get this thing done.
[UPDATE]: Here’s a link to our Key Vote Card on this issue.
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