Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, issued the following statement today regarding legislation that would allow the moratorium on offshore oil exploration to expire:
“The American people have changed Washington’s mind on oil exploration. Lifting the offshore oil drilling moratorium is a big victory for the American people that few would have predicted just a few months ago. When gasoline prices dramatically increased this spring, the solutions offered like suing OPEC, using the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and asking foreign nations to increase production simply weren’t up to the challenge. Now we have passed legislation that puts us closer than ever to letting states make use of their oil shale and offshore oil deposits. Using a football analogy, we have gone from fourth down, deep near our own end zone, to 20 yards from the goal line. The last 20 yards are the hardest. But now is the time to take this issue to the American people and finish the job.”
Today, the House of Representatives will debate H.R. 2638, legislation to continue funding the government through March 6. The bill would not extend a 25-year federal ban on offshore oil exploration.