Democrats still resist domestic energy production

Washington Times:

Top oil company executives asked Congress on Wednesday to open the nation's coasts to offshore drilling as the Obama administration continued reversing Bush White House policies that opened national land and coasts to oil exploration.

"The choice is clear: We can continue to import increasing volumes of oil and gas, or we can develop more of our own domestic resources," said Marvin Odum, president of Shell Oil Co. "Producing more oil and gas in our own country is a no-lose proposition."

Executives from Shell, BP America, Devon Oil Co., ExxonMobil and Chevron testified before the House Committee on Natural Resources as it held its final of three hearings Wednesday to determine the nation's offshore drilling policy.

Democratic lawmakers, however, have been tepid to move quickly on offshore drilling, saying they prefer to examine further what resources are available offshore.

"There are clear benefits to offshore drilling - including jobs, tax and royalty income and money that we keep here at home instead of sending it overseas," said committee Chairman Nick J. Rahall II, West Virginia Democrat.

"But the amount of additional oil that we could drill offshore is a drop in the bucket of what we need to sustain our economy and meet our energy needs," he said.

Former President George W. Bush lifted an executive ban on offshore drilling last summer, and Democratic lawmakers allowed a congressional moratorium to lapse last year in the final stretch of the 2008 elections, with gasoline prices hovering around $4 a gallon.

"Unlike the $790 billion stimulus package lawmakers just passed, increased offshore activity would fuel our economy without squandering taxpayer funds," said Thomas J. Pyle, president of the American Energy Alliance and the Institute for Energy Research, which advocates free-market energy policies.

"Oil and gas is one of the U.S.'s only industries in a position to put money into, rather than take money out of, the government's piggy bank," he said.

Meanwhile, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar continued the Obama administration's policy of halting Bush administration rules and regulations, announcing he would pull leases for oil shale research and development and allow 90 days for the public to comment.

...

Democrats are letting their carbon phobia get in the way of a rational energy policy and just as important significant revenues to the government to off set their incredible expenditures. At a time when they are running up trillion dollar deficits they are blowing off over a trillion dollars in revenue from expanded domestic production of oil and gas, not to mention good paying jobs in a time of high unemployment. The suggestion that this new production would not be significant beggars reality. ANWR alone would be significant, and the Democrat opposition to it is just nonsensical. If we get stuck with the Democrats' energy plan we will all be poorer.

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