Jane Van Ryan
Posted October 1, 2009
One year ago, the 30-year old ban on offshore drilling along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts expired, opening the opportunity for the United States to drill for more of its own oil and natural gas. What has happened since then to make America more energy self-sufficient?
The wheels of government continued to turn, of course, and the debate over offshore drilling made occasional headlines. A Five-Year Leasing Plan was issued by the Bush Administration, but was put on hold by the Obama Administration. Hearings were held in several states. A court ruling effectively delayed some Alaskan plans for oil and natural gas until the government has reassessed environmental effects. A Senate committee approved a proposal to permit drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and since the ban expired, more than 600,000 individuals submitted comments about the development of comprehensive offshore energy strategy for the Outer Continental Shelf.
Yet, a year has passed with no real change in America's energy situation. During the first eight months of 2009, the United States imported 64 percent of the oil it used every day, and increased emphasis on wind and solar energy isn't likely to alter U.S. dependence on foreign oil. Wind and solar can't fill your gas tank or power the 18-wheelers that deliver goods and services.
This country runs on oil. It will continue to run on oil for many years to come. America must have a secure supply of oil.
The United States has an abundance of oil within its own borders. Tapping it could increase energy security, create thousands of jobs, and generate $1.7 trillion in tax revenues for the federal, local and state governments. And the oil and natural gas can be produced safely.
The solution to the nation's energy and many of its economic problems is right under our feet. Stop delaying. Drill now.
For more information, read our Offshore Access Primer below, and visit the Action Center to tell Congress to allow for access to domestic oil and natural gas.
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