Two items in the Washington newspapers caught our energy-attentive eye this morning. First was a great editorial in the Washington Times making the case for developing America’s domestic energy supplies, in particular the abundant oil and natural gas that lies off U.S. shores, i.e., the Outer Continental Shelf, or OCS. Last month the House passed the Deep Ocean Energy Resources Act, looking to gain access to an estimated 19 billion barrels of oil and 86 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. (A bipartisan 232-187 vote, as our news release noted.) Debate over ensuring America’s energy future now turns to the Senate. The Times makes the point: ExxonMobil spent more over the past year repurchasing its comon stock ($20.5 billion) than investing in energy exploration ($19.1 billion). If the Senate wants to make that financial environment more productive for the nation’s economy, promoting capital investment, it needs to act to open OCS to exploration. And soon.
Meanwhile, a lengthy article in the Washington Post’s business section leads to the same conclusion in another way. “Politics Of the Pipelines; U.S. Seeks Ways to Route Natural Gas Around Russia” details the complicated geopolitics involved in energy development and exporting in Russia and pipeline-hosting countries like Turkey and Azerbaijan. The process is expensive and fraught with political risks. Which leads us to ask: Wouldn’t it be safer, cheaper and all together better for the United States to develop our own domestic energy supplies? Back to you, Senators.