September 14, 2008

BETTER HURRY...:

Offshore Drilling Is Coming to a Vote: Democrats to Offer a Mix of Proposals (Paul Kane, 9/14/08, Washington Post)

With votes scheduled this week in the House and Senate, Democrats have essentially given up defending the current ban on drilling within 200 miles offshore along both coasts. Instead, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), they are offering a mix of proposals that would allow drilling, with the waters off Massachusetts, Virginia and Georgia most likely to be the first affected.

Environmentalists and industry analysts disagree over the impact the various legislative proposals would have on oil production, with industry experts contending that the most precious reserves still would be off-limits. But both sides agree that -- because of the politics of $4-a-gallon gasoline this summer and a pending legislative deadline -- the nearly 40-year drilling ban is in jeopardy. [...]

With revenue sharing, Virginia and Georgia would quickly approve offshore drilling at the 50-mile mark, Kennedy and some environmental experts predicted. The biggest target for new drilling at the 100-mile mark would be in the Georges Bank, off the coasts of Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire, where cod fishing was once the dominant industry. Oil and natural gas already are extracted not far away, in Canadian waters.

The most sought-after area, however, is the eastern Gulf of Mexico near Florida's western coast. Drilling rigs already operate in the gulf off Houston, New Orleans and Mississippi, giving oil producers a near-certain guarantee of finding oil near Florida. It also would be less costly for producers to move their production and delivery systems to the other side of the gulf than to place new rigs in previously unexplored regions of the Atlantic or Pacific.


...before it heads below $2 a gallon again.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 14, 2008 2:52 PM
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