American Energy Freedom Day: Bans on Shale Oil and OCS Expired
Domestic Bans Expired, but There are Obstacles Blocking Cheaper American Energy

WASHINGTON, D.C. Today, Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) joins other center-right organizations and influential GOP leaders like Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) in celebrating American Energy Freedom Day.

At midnight on September 30th, the bans on Offshore Continental Shelf (OCS) and shale oil drilling that have been in effect since 1982 have expired. Currently, the U.S. consumes approximately 7.5 billion barrels of oil every year – these previously untouchable reserves contain over 900 billion barrels of oil.

ATR President Grover Norquist says freeing up our natural resources is something that should have happened decades ago. “The fact that this was not addressed sooner, before there was an energy crisis, is nothing more than the Left’s inability to complete rational thoughts and the blatant shilling for special interests.” Norquist continued, “If you are a salt trader and the amount of salt in your country dries up yet you’re sitting on billion of pounds of salt, what happens? Smart people will say, use the salt you are sitting on, drive down prices and stabilize the market – simple as that. This is not rocket science people; it’s simply supply and demand, Econ. 101.”

Norquist added that while his organization warned Congress that Sen. Reid was going to extend the moratorium on shale oil in the “Second Stimulus”, which failed 52-42, he was not deeply concerned. “While we did lose some Republicans, there comes a point where if you vote against energy independence, you are like a rat-head in a Coke bottle – you begin to ruin the brand-name for everyone else in the party. This was common sense really.”

The Republicans who voted for the “Second Stimulus” which included the ban on shale oil are Senators Coleman (R-MN), Collins (R-ME), Dole (R-NC), Smith (R-OR), Snowe (R-ME) and Specter (R-PA).

Prior to this victory, Americans for Tax Reform spearheaded a coalition of 60+ organizations who opposed various plans to extend these moratoria and tax energy producers. Their actions can be viewed on