Key Vote Letter Urging Members of the House to Lift OCS Moratoria
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region urges you to oppose any amendments to H.R. 5386, the FY07 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill, that would strip provisions in the bill that would lift the moratoria on exploring for natural gas on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).
The OCS provisions in the bill are a critical first step in obtaining access to our substantial domestic resources. The OCS is estimated to contain 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and more than 85 billion barrels of oil. The natural gas that is located on the OCS off the lower 48 states alone would satisfy all domestic industrial and commercial needs for almost 30 years. Put another way, that is enough natural gas to heat more than 72 million homes for 60 years. The projected amount of oil would provide a 15-year supply of gasoline for 132 million cars and heating oil for 54 million homes. These resources can be safely produced and have been in both Alaska and the Western Gulf of Mexico for decades.
While this amendment cannot on its own open the OCS to exploration and production because of presidential withdrawal of these areas, and does not address the need for increased domestic crude oil production, it is the essential first step that must be taken in order to grant the American people access to their natural resources. At this time of high, fluctuating gasoline and natural gas prices, the need for increased production of domestic resources is all the more acute.
For the reasons provided above, the U.S. Chamber urges you to oppose any amendments to strip provisions lifting the OCS moratoria for natural gas. The U.S. Chamber may consider votes on, or in relation to, this issue in our annual How They Voted scorecard.
R. Bruce Josten