House Democrats Continue to Oppose Domestic Energy Independence
Draft Continuing Resolution Renews Almost 90% of Current Ban on OCS Drilling and Entire Ban Oil Shale Exploration

WASHINGTON, D.C.Today Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) notified Congress of its strong opposition to a draft appropriations continuing resolution (CR) released by House Democrats.  This “Discussion Draft” CR includes an almost complete renewal of current bans on oil and gas exploration on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) and of oil shale deposits in the Mountain West.  These current bans are set to expire next Wednesday, October 1.

“House Democrat leaders remain in the pocket of the radical environmentalist lobby,” stated ATR president Grover Norquist, “The token drilling provision in their draft CR is an election year ploy to placate hard working Americans’ desire for energy independence and lower fuel prices, while ensuring no new drilling is actually accomplished.”

The U.S. Minerals Management Service (MMS) estimates that the OCS contains nearly 86 billion barrels of oil and 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.  There are an estimated 2 trillion barrels of oil locked up in oil shale deposits. This is more than 7 times the amount of crude oil reserves found in Saudi Arabia, and is enough to meet current U.S. demand for en energy.

“Even by the federal governments’ own estimates, we have sufficient domestic energy resources to fuel our economy for decades, if not more than a century.  Furthermore, we now have the technology to capture these natural resources in an environmentally responsible manner.  It is irresponsible for Democrat leaders to continue to block our utilization of these resources.”

Yesterday, the price of oil jumped $25 a barrel, the largest one day increase in history, it is clear that American consumers need relief from the increasing burden of high energy prices.  However, this draft CR would prevent American energy companies from tapping into 90 percent of the OCS resources and all of our oil shale resources.

ATR commends the GOP leaders’ efforts to provide immediate and long term energy price relief to Americans and urges all Congressmen and the President to reject any energy legislation that further impairs domestic energy independence.