ATR Calls for the Preservation of “American Energy Freedom Day”
Domestic energy resources will no longer be off-limits on October 1, 2008

WASHINGTON, D.C.Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), along with 39 other national and state free market organizations, publically supports the expiration of federal bans on domestic energy supplies on October 1, 2008, fittingly labeled “American Energy Freedom Day”. ATR urges Congress and the White House to oppose any new moratoriums, temporary or otherwise, on increasing domestic energy supply.

American consumers need relief from the increasing burden of high energy prices.  “When President Bush repealed the executive ban on off-shore oil drilling,” stated ATR president Grover Norquist, “Congress was left with no one but themselves to blame for the high energy costs that continue to cripple the economy.”

As energy prices have fallen in recent weeks, Congress’ last remaining barrier to greater energy independence is the temporary ban on drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf, which contains estimated reserves of 86 billion barrels of oil and 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. 

On October 1, 2008, as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2008 (Public Law 110-161), prohibitions on energy exploration will expire, immediately making vast amounts of American petroleum and natural gas available for leasing activities, to the benefit of all Americans currently coping with high energy costs. Allowing for this expiration will give states the autonomy to determine whether or not to allow off-shore drilling.  “The federal government has no role creating blanket mandates on how citizens of every state can use their own resources,” stated Norquist.  “What we need is less regulation, not more.”

Recently, House Republican Study Committee Chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) and Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC), Chairman of the Senate Republican Steering Committee came together in a bicameral effort to protect American Energy Freedom Day and called on their colleagues for support.

Americans for Tax Reform commends the GOP leaders’ commitments and continues to encourage all Members of Congress to follow President Bush’s lead and vote to lift the ban on offshore oil drilling so that “American Energy Freedom Day” could come before October 1st.