Historic Short-Change: Decades-Old Ban on Offshore Energy Lifted Over a Year Ago…

Last week marked the one-year anniversary of an historic changein our Nation’s energy policy — the July 14, 2008 lifting of the executivebranch’s 18 year-old ban on responsible energy development along most ofAmerica’s outer continental shelf (OSC).  Unfortunately, over a yearlater, we’re no closer today to accessing our offshore energy resources than wewere last July.  That’s true despite the late-September expiration ofCongress’s own separate ban on responsible offshore exploration, a ban they hadrenewed reflexively and without debate for 27 consecutive years. 

So, where’s our offshore energy?  Where’s the change? We launched an interactiveweb page to highlight these questions and provide some perspectiveon what our government’s been doing over the last year.

Poll after poll continues to show the vast majority of Americans have demandedaccess to the abundant, affordable energy supplies they rightfully own off ourshore and beneath or soil.  Americans are demanding more energy, not less.

Is our government ignoring the will of the majority of the American people?

Consider the events of the past six months. In February, barely two weeks onthe job as our nation’s new Interior secretary, Ken Salazar rescinded130,000 acres of energy-rich land in Utah – areas that the agencylater said may be appropriate to reinstate. That same month, the ObamaAdministration shut down an oil shale leasing program – lands that have apotential recoverable resource three times the size of Saudi Arabia’s oilsupplies.  And finally, the Secretary delayed the implementation of a newoffshore energy plan, further delaying the responsible exploration andproduction of the vast taxpayer-owned supplies waiting to be tapped on the OCS. 

Does that make you angry?  If so, then, consider this…

On July 14th of last year, we had a five-year offshore energy planin place – one that was set to last until a new plan could beundertaken.  But in April, an activist court in Washington, DC took theunprecedented step of completely throwing out the current policy governing ournation’s offshore energy program. This action cast serious doubt on whetherfuture energy exploration could take place in Alaska – the same statethat once provided the U.S. with 20 percent of its oil needs, and could do soagain, for decades, if the government allows us to produce the enormoussupplies lying fallow off her shores. Plainly put, there is currently no directmeans in place whereby new domestic energy production and exploration can takein any of the waters of the United States. 

What’s happening here?  Is this the “change” we werepromised?  Is this the President’s plan to "reduce our dependence offoreign oil?  We want to hear from you.

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