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Congress Approves Off Shore Drilling Bill

It's about time Congress got its butt in gear and passed an energy bill like this. President Bush is expected to sign it.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Hours before adjourning for the year, the U.S. Congress on Saturday sent President George W. Bush legislation that would open 8.3 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico to oil and natural gas drilling and redistribute billions of dollars in royalties to four Gulf states.


The drilling measure was wrapped into a broad tax and trade package that the U.S. Senate approved by a 79-9 vote, hours after the House of Representatives approved it.

Rep. Bobby Jindal, a Louisiana Republican and one of the drilling measure's main supporters, said Bush will sign the bill into law.

The offshore legislation ends a 25-year ban on drilling in deep waters about 125 miles south of Florida's Panhandle, but extends a moratorium on drilling in other Florida waters until 2022.

The area known as "Lease Sale 181" holds an estimated 1.26 billion barrels of crude oil and 5.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

In a statement, the White House said the bill "will help to reduce our dependence on imported sources of energy by increasing access to domestic sources of oil and gas."

But it will be years before the tracts are leased to energy companies and the new supplies actually hit the market.

That has always been one of the many excuses those opposed to domestic drilling have used to fight it, and I've never gotten the logic of it. So what if it takes, let's say, five years before the oil hits the market. The year 2011 is going to arrive anyway, so we might as well have more domestic oil when it does. And while we're at it, let's build some new oil refineries in that same five year time period, too.


Comments (17)

the same folks who the "... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

the same folks who the "But it will be years before..." nonsense to block oil exploration hav NO PROBLEM jumping on bandwagons powered by fuel sources that are TWENTY-FIVE to FIFTY YEARS from being viable!!

These same morons couldn't find Alaska on a map...let alone ANWR within it! Screw 'em...and go get the freaking oil already!

Great point, Justrand. ... (Below threshold)

Great point, Justrand.

Yes, excellent point. ... (Below threshold)
Jo:

Yes, excellent point.

Say! Wouldn't this be a cla... (Below threshold)
Patriot's Game:

Say! Wouldn't this be a classic example of too little, too late? RINOs are idiots!
Bush and his comrades would do nothing for energy independence while in office. Why entertain the idea after we've dumped on you? IDIOTS!

I agree with everything wri... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

I agree with everything written. I am also pleased by the voting margin. I hope this will be the first step in a reasoned energy program for the United States.

Sorry, that did not include... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

Sorry, that did not include PG just above.

It's simple folks. The elec... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

It's simple folks. The elections are over, and politicians no longer need to pander to small, but loud, groups. They can do what actually makes sense in the long run.

Excellent. I'm headin' out... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Excellent. I'm headin' out to buy another SUV.

We should be drilling off Florida, and ANWR.

The caribou and the grouper won't mind.

"The caribou and the groupe... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

"The caribou and the grouper won't mind."

Actually the caribou found the warmth under the pipe line to be excellent calving ground, and the oil platforms act as artificial reef for the marine life to use as habitat.

I'm glad this bill FINALLY ... (Below threshold)
B.Poster:

I'm glad this bill FINALLY passed. I was beginning to wonder if our government had ti within them to pass such a common sense measure. In my opinion, the bill does not go far enough but it is a great start.

I would expect the enviro whackos to go to court to try and get this part of the legislation blocked. If this happens, we need to lobby Congress and the Administration to vigorously defend the shore drilling bill.

It'd be great if John Edwar... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

It'd be great if John Edwards channeled a caribou, or a grouper, and told us of the great suffering of the lil animals.

It's worse than terrorism, I tell ya.

P'G' has been added to the ... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

P'G' has been added to the "club".

jhow66What do you ... (Below threshold)
Patriot's Game:

jhow66

What do you make of P'G's posts on the Britain/Multiculturalism article above?
Confusing, isn't it?


By the way, jhow66:<p... (Below threshold)
Patriot's Game:

By the way, jhow66:

I've been looking over some of your posts.
You're depe, ...reel depe.

One of the things this coun... (Below threshold)
Thor-Zone:

One of the things this country needs most is energy independence (or at least as close as we can get to that) as soon as possible. This is a great first step.

That being said, it is clear that energy policy here is still too political. Right now Alaska produces about 25% of America's energy needs. That could be at least doubled if the do nothing Congress would allow Alaskans to produce oil in ANWR. It is time we got serious about this issue and moved forward by increasing our own energy production.

You can bet that the jerks ... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

You can bet that the jerks from GREENPEACE will be out there in their in their zodiacs blocking the oil drillers we all know that GREENPEACE is the biggist bunch of pests and trouble makers around

p'g'-glad you liked them. I... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

p'g'-glad you liked them. If you want more just keep posting. Glad to help out those that belong to the "club". (lord nows they need it) Well you see we can't be real "depe" around here as there are to many "club" members trolling. You might say that I am the Game Warden that checks on all those that are "trolling" to check their license.




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