Bush to Press Congress on Offshore Oil Drilling

WASHINGTON — President Bush plans a renewed push to get Congress to end a long-standing ban on offshore oil and gas drilling.

With oil prices soaring and motorists paying $4 a gallon for gasoline, political pressures have been growing for more domestic oil and gas production.

White House press secretary Dana Perino tells The Associated Press that Bush believes Congress shouldn’t waste any more time. She says that on Wednesday the president will urge lawmakers to lift the ban on offshore drilling.

Congressional Democrats have opposed lifting those prohibitions. The ban has been in effect for more than 80 percent of federal Outer Continental Shelf waters for more than a quarter-century and includes both the East and West coasts.



Cuba is developing their reserves in these same areas 50 miles from Key West.

Congress imposed the drilling moratorium in 1981 and has extended it each year since by prohibiting the Interior Department from spending money on offshore oil or gas leases in virtually all coastal waters outside the western Gulf of Mexico and in some areas off Alaska.

President George H.W. Bush imposed a separate executive drilling ban in 1990, which was extended by President Clinton and then by the current president until 2012.

Bush has been considering lifting the executive ban as a symbolic move to get Congress to take action, but he decided against doing so for the time being, said an official who spoke on condition of anonymity because internal deliberations were involved.

The House Appropriations Committee was scheduled to vote on legislation Wednesday that included a provision that would continue the drilling moratorium into late 2009. Rep. John Peterson, R-Pa., planned to try to strip that provision from the bill. A proposal Peterson offered last week that would open all federal waters 50 miles from shore to oil and gas development was rejected by an Appropriations subcommittee on a 9-6 party-line vote.


Yes, I believe that we should lift the ban on offshore drilling. We need the oil. The price of gasoline is way too high.

good luck. with all the insane liberals in congress, i don’t think it will matter.

domestic offshore drilling will create jobs lessen the chance of an oil spill during transportation because of the small distance. there are also more stringent environmental regulations than found in most major oil producing countries.

Will Cuba join OPEC? That is the key question.

The Castro brothers have been after us for decades; now they will have the money to go on the offensive. They can join forces with Chavez of Venezuela.


The Outer Continental Shelf holds around 115 billion barrels of oil and 635 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. If this and other domestic sources are developed, U.S. reserves would increase by a factor of five, and we would jump from 11th place to 4th place in the world in the size of our proven reserves. [Source: Investor’s Business Daily, Wednesday June 18, 2008, page A10 … “Breaking The Back of High Oil … 29th In A Series”]

Here’s all 29 (so far) articles on getting cheaper energy:



According to one radio call-in show yesterday, the U.S. has more oil and gas reserves than ALL of OPEC combined.

Governor Crist of Florida FINALLY is now supporting exploratory drilling because “Floridians are suffering”.

While I’m sure some will disagree with me, I’m not so sure I trust Bush’s motives with anything anymore. I feel this administration has somewhat misled the public on several fronts, for whatever reasons.

Did everyone forget his press conference on February 28, 2008? That link is to the official white house website. This makes me wonder how out of touch Bush really is?

Q What’s your advice to the average American who is hurting now, facing the prospect of $4 a gallon gasoline, a lot of people facing –

THE PRESIDENT: Wait, what did you just say? You’re predicting $4 a gallon gasoline?

Q A number of analysts are predicting –


Q – $4 a gallon gasoline this spring when they reformulate.

THE PRESIDENT: That’s interesting. I hadn’t heard that.

Q Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. I know it’s high now.

I’m just an average guy and question how long would 115 billion gallons of oil last with America’s oil consumption. Irregardless of how long it would last, it’s unlikely to provide more oil for America for 7 to 10 years.

That’s the estimate from the American Petroleum Institute, the oil-industry trade group. Major environmental groups think the increased supply would be at least that distant before arrival, and say it mostly would benefit Big Oil.

“It would take a decade to bring new leases into production, and then they would only line the coffers of the oil industry,” said Carl Pope, the Sierra Club’s executive director.

Deron Lovaas, senior energy analyst at the Natural Resources Defense Council, noted that even if billions of barrels of oil are available offshore, the United States still will control only a fraction of the world’s supply, so energy independence isn’t within reach.

“We are just not blessed in this country with enough resources for this to make a big difference,” Lovaas said.

I can’t provide a link to that particular article as it was imbedded in an article about a political candidate. There are several articles available by googling America’s oil consumption through google news.

Personally, I remember when America quit drilling for oil and the reason then was it couldn’t be competitive at the prices it was being pumped in other countries. I’d be interested in knowing when the balance was reached? I’d also like to know if this will reduce gas prices or just add more profit to the oil companies? Would the US offer the oil companies more tax breaks and incentives for drilling at home?

Another question that burns in my mind is about Iraq. Why can’t they step up to the plate in some of the costs of our continued efforts to help them maintain their liberation?

As a result, the letter from the Armed Services Committee says, “we believe that it has been overwhelmingly U.S. taxpayer money that has funded Iraq reconstruction over the last five years, despite Iraq earning billions of dollars in oil revenue over that time period that have ended up in non-Iraqi banks.”

May the peace of the Lord be with you,
Prodigal Son1

I think that drilling and increasing the supply would be really helpful. prices of gas would drop, delivery costs wouldn’t keep rising, which means it would cost less for a store to receive and sell milk, diapers, eggs, food, clothes, etc. Then consider the increased supply would mean less dependence on opec, fewer windfall profits for big oil, and with the increased jobs and revenue, there could be increased R&D into alternative-energy-powered-cars.

I don’t think our congress creatures will do it, because as a rule, congress isn’t always too swift on thinking or doing anything, but it’s a plan.

While I’m all for finding new reserves of oil, I disagree with the notion the gasoline prices are way too high. In fact, I think prices are just high enough to inspire people to do the right thing, like inflate thier tires, tune thier engines and carpool.

A park and ride lot near my house has sat empty for years, suddenly it is filled to capacity. I’ve also noticed traffic at posted speed limits rather than 10 mph over.

Improving the supply is a fraction of the problem. Reducing demand is where you will find the low hanging fruit. I’m all for $5 a gallon gasoline.

(who currently pays 98 cents for a gasoline equivalent of compressed natural gas)

Drill Now, Drill Here, Pay Less:


The U.S. imports roughly 4 billion barrels of oil per year.


The rest of the oil is already generated internally within the United States.

So, the 115 billion barrels off shore would last 28.75 years. More or less. [President Bush used the number of 800 billion barrels … so the oil would last 200 years.]

UNLESS, we discovered there is much more oil out there. (And, because new oil is discovered all the time; reserves are re-estimated UP all the time.)

So, just the oil in the Offshore Continental Shelf ( OCS ) would last much much longer.

AND, there are many more sources of oil not included in that 115 billion barrels … Alaska … shale oil … AND there is a lot of natural gas. Huge huge amounts. Within the U.S. and offshore.

Not to mention the humongous coal deposits placed off limits by Bill Clinton.

AND there is methane … suspended in the ocean and on the ocean floor. And much more besides that.

And there is nuclear and there is fusion … which we should resume research on … and … this time … not allow ourselves to be distracted, as we were back in the 1980’s and 1990’s.

I’m glad you like paying $5 for a gallon of gas. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who cannot afford it. Some people need affordable gas to get buy.

I agree that conservation and alternative sources of energy must be part of an overall plan…but what is good for you is not necessaryily good for a large portion of our citizens.

Also, I think a lot of democrats in congress agree with your position, which is why they think they can lower gas prices by taxing oil companies and suing OPEC. (Actually, they know it won’t lower gas prices, its all lip service for voters who can’t grasp the situation.)

I don’t know why anyone here thinks $5/gal is the upper limit on the price of gas in the US. I have a hunch it will go much higher than that.

Think $10 or $15 a gal. Can you fill your tank for $150 - $200 a week for very long?

I don’t favor gas prices rising higher than they are, but we seem to be a good point right now. The price is high enough that people are beginning to change their behavior in order to conserve. Reducing demand for gas is the quickest way to reduce prices. But if prices stay at $4/gallon (or higher) they will keep up the pressure to find energy alternatives to oil - and that is a good thing for our country.

Here is the link to the article quoted by Prodigal Son which he couldn’t source.
Oil group: Offshore drilling no quick fix

Its about time. This should have been done years ago. If an earlier president hadn’t vetoed it, we would be awash in oil from Anwar and off-shore right now, and the Saudi’s and the rest of OPEC would be trying to find markets for sand…

If I’m not mistaken, wasn’t the first President Bush the one who originally placed the ban on offshore drilling? Then Clinton did the same ban 10 years later?

May the peace of the Lord be with you,
Prodigal Son1

Not really, congress created a moratorium on new drilling off the coast in 1981. In 1981 congress adopted the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Moratorium. The moratorium prevents the leasing of coastal waters for the purpose of fossil fuel development. Every year since then Congress has renewed the moratorium on new oil and gas development off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts as well as Bristol Bay Alaska. In 1990, President George H.W. Bush authored an additional level of protection, and in 1998 Bill Clinton extended these protections and set them to expire 2012.

The current president Bush says that offshore oil drilling can now be done safely. “Advances in technology have made it possible to conduct oil exploration in the Outer Continental Shelf, OCS, that is out of sight, protects coral reefs and habitats, and protects against oil spills,” he said today. “With these advances - and a dramatic increase in oil prices - congressional restrictions on OCS exploration have become outdated and counterproductive.” “There’s also an executive prohibition on exploration in the OCS. When Congress lifts the legislative ban, I will lift the executive prohibition,” the president said.

Does anyone have an idea of how much cheaper gasoline would be if the US increased its offshore drilling?

Time magazine is quoting the National Resources Defense Council (which, perhaps isn’t a unbiased source on this matter) that offshore drilling will only knock off a few pennies per gallon.

…[E]ven if tomorrow we opened up every square mile of the outer Continental Shelf to offshore rigs, even if we drilled the entire state of Alaska and pulled new refineries out of thin air, the impact on gas prices would be minimal and delayed at best. A 2004 study by the government’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) found that drilling in ANWR would trim the price of gas by 3.5 cents a gallon by 2027. (If oil prices continue to skyrocket, the savings would be greater, but not by much.) Opening up offshore areas to oil exploration — currently all coastal areas save a section of the Gulf of Mexico are off-limits, thanks to a Congressional ban enacted in 1982 and supplemented by an executive order from the first President Bush — might cut the price of gas by 3 to 4 cents a gallon at most, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. And the relief at the pump, such as it is, wouldn’t be immediate — it would take several years, at least, for the oil to begin to flow, which is time enough for increased demand from China, India and the rest of the world to outpace those relatively meager savings. “Right now the price of oil is set on the global market,” says Kevin Lindemer, executive managing director of the energy markets group for the research firm Global Insight. President Bush’s move “would not have an impact.”


If the price increases are due to speculation, then we might have a bubble in the oil market. If that is the case, by increasing things that will increase supply, as well as things that can decrease demand, there should be an easing some of those prices.

Congress will not lift the ban. At least until they con the people of the US that they need to nationalize the Oil Industry. That is what you get when you have Radical Socialists in charge of Congress.

People need affordable gas so they don’t have to modify their use. Buy a bike, take the bus, get over the fact that America devised an energy intensive lifestyle.

Energy independence IS good for everyone.

Who said anything about lowering prices? America would go right back to wasting gas. Modify your lifestyle. Why 5% of the world’s population thinks it needs 25% of the world’s energy is beyond me.


You were correct. I checked and saw the frist President Bush only supplemented the moratorium. I was only responding to someone’s comments which seem to indicate this was along party lines. I didn’t the veto the other poster mentioned, but then I’m not sure exactly which action he was speaking of.

As for trusting Bush’s analysis of safe oil drilling due to technology, it’s hard for me to get totally behind him. He’s the same one who convinced a world that Saddam had weaopns of mass destruction. (I still think Saddam did not want to show his hand, or lack of those weapons, to the Iranians who he spent years in war with.)

It’s ironic, to me, that there’s conditions that appear with each election, which are major concern to the US. I feel last election fear was used to solicite votes. Now, I have to wonder, if another type fear is being used. I think we are at times when we shouldn’t blindly follow any particular politician or political party. We have to learn to proceed with our eyes wide open to secure our true democracy.

May the peace of the Lord be with you,
Prodigal Son1

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