Monday, July 14, 2008

Congressman Hinchey Sheds Some Reality to Bush's Decision to Lift Drilling Moratorium

"President Bush's decision to lift the presidential moratorium on oil and gas drilling on parts of the Outer Continental Shelf is nothing more than a political game designed to confuse the facts and deny the American people real solutions to high gas prices. Opening up more of the Outer Continental Shelf for drilling would not yield a drop of new oil for 10 years and would certainly do nothing to lower the cost of gas at the pump tomorrow, or next year, or five years from now. While there are a variety of steps we can take right now, the Bush administration has chosen to stick with its same old pro-oil company routine that has gotten the American people nowhere. Since President Bush took office, the price of oil has increased from less than $30 per barrel to a recent record high of nearly $150, and the average price of gas across the country has risen from $1.47 per gallon to $4.09 per gallon.

"The current moratorium, which President Bush's father imposed, applies to just 20 percent of the known oil and gas resources located in our Outer Continental Shelf. While 80 percent of known oil and gas resources that are technologically recoverable in the Outer Continental Shelf are available for drilling right now, energy companies have chosen to not produce on those acres. Instead, the energy companies are letting those leases, which they own, sit idly until the price of oil soars to $200 or $300 per barrel so that they can drill on them later and generate even larger profits down the road.

"The facts are clear. Only 10.5 million of the 44 million leased acres in the Outer Continental Shelf are currently producing oil or gas. Combined with the number of leased acres of federal land not producing oil or gas onshore, there are 68 million acres of public land that energy companies currently control, but haven't drilled. There's no need for the energy companies to receive any additional federal land when they have 68 million acres just sitting there waiting to be drilled. I'll continue to work with my colleagues in the House to try to compel these energy companies to start producing on the public land they've already leased.


Oil and gas companies hold leases to 68 million acres of federal land and waters that

currently are NOT producing oil or gas, according to the Minerals Management Service

(MMS) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

81% of estimated oil and gas resources on federal lands and the Outer Continental Shelf

(OCS) are available for development.

These reserves are equal to 107 billion barrels of oil and 658 trillion cubic feet of natural

gas -- and are 10 times the amount of the economically recoverable oil that could be

produced from opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), and more than

14 years of current U.S. oil consumption (7.5 billion barrels per year).


There are 7,740 leases covering 44 million acres on the Outer Continental Shelf. Only

1,655 (covering 10.5 million acres) are in production.


47.5 million acres of federal land is currently being leased on the continental United

States (lower 48).

BLM has issued 28,776 permits to drill on public land since 2004, and 18,954 wells were

actually drilled. Companies have nearly 10,000 permits that are not in domestic




Drilling proponents say there are up to 16 billion barrels of oil under the Arctic refuge's

coastal plain (there is a 5% chance of that, and thus a 95% chance that there is far less oil

in ANWR ).

It would take 10 years for any Arctic refuge oil to reach the market. And, even assuming

drilling proponents’ best case scenario, the refuge would produce only 300,000 to

600,000 barrels per day when production peaks – a small fraction of the 21 million

barrels of oil that America consumes each day..

In 2025, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates – under drilling

proponents’ best case scenario – gas prices would decrease by only 1.8 cents per gallon.


The 2005 energy bill allows states to request expedited permitting from EPA on behalf of

a refiner. No refiner has asked that those provisions be used.

We have idle capacity now. According to the EIA, America has 328,000 barrels per day

of idle refining capacity. As of June 12, our refineries were running at 89.3% capacity,

much lower than historic refinery utilization at the same time in the previous 10 years.


Anonymous said...

We need oil. Drill everywhere we can. This will also increase the value of our dollar, as well as reducing the price at the pump.


John Exxon

Anonymous said...

Is anyone else as tired of this guy as I am? I am a Democrat too! Is there anyone else out there to carry on in the tradition of the Democratic party?

Anonymous said...

Hinchey is only giving you a small part of the story. The fact is that most of the undrilled tracks have not been used because the oil is so deep and difficult to access that it would not be economically feasible to do so.

As usual, Hinchey is giving false and misleading facts, half-truths, and outright lies.

Imre Beke, Jr. said...

The only real argument Liberals have been able to bring up with regard to the lifting of the ban prohibiting drilling offshore and in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR)is the fact that it would take up to seven years to see results. They conveniently leave out the fact that President Bush has been pushing for the bans to be lifted since taking office in 2001. Gee, that's seven years ago. If you do the math, it's pretty clear that had the Democrats not blocked votes on the issue in 2001 (remember, the Senate was in Democrat hands back then due to Jim Jeffords' defection from the Republican Party), we would have oil production from both offshore platforms and ANWR. Furthermore, if they hadn't used procedural black magic to block votes in later years, we would be close to full scale production today.

Either way, we would have drastically lower prices had Democrats not played environmental games with this vital resource. Democrats must shoulder at least partial blame for the high gas prices today.

All the nonsense being spouted by Congressman Hinchey about oil leases just doesn't stand up to scrutiny. The oil industry obvisouly wants to produce more oil. If they didn't, they wouldn't be pushing to have those bans lifted. Just simple logic. If they could drill for oil in those leased areas in a manner which was both financially and economically feasible, they would do so.

Oil companies buy up leases to land all over the country before they know whether there is any oil there at all or if they can produce oil from those lands at a cost which would still allow them profit. To expect them to drill at a loss is preposterous, yet that is what the Congressman apparently wants.

Oil can be produced profitably, at a cost which would drastically reduce oil prices around the world in ANWR, offshore, near Minnesota's border with the Dakotas and in the four Corners region of the U.S. All we need is for Congress to say "Yes."

Congressman Hinchey doesn't want this to happen because he wants us to drive less to reduce our non-existent impact on global warming (no, humanity has NO scientifically proven effect on global warming - but that's a different topic). At the same time, he doesn't want to be blamed for rising oil prices, even though he could have voted to allow drilling long ago and prevented today's crisis. So, he finds a way to blame oil companies and the White House.

Keep in mind, by the way, that the U.S. Government makes more money on every gallon of gas than any other entity. The Congressman is more than happy to plow that money into his earmarks rather than seeking to eliminate Federal fuel taxes.

No matter how you slice it, Congressional Democrats, esepecially the extreme Left which our Congressman finds so endearing, bear a great deal of responsibility for the financial pain we are all feeling.

No amount of rhetorical hocus pocus can change the facts.

Anonymous said...

No kidding! The game is about using up all their oil before tapping all ours. World domination has always trumped the welfare of the poor suckers at the bottom. Too bad technology will make this game obsolete. Hey what's up with our local natural gas reserves? Are we saving that for another generation too? When are we getting federally subsidized bio-fuel stations? Time to move on past this petroleum stagnation game. No more dumping of valuable restuarant oil. Mandatory recycling at our county recovery centers is long overdue. A sock filter is pretty cheap you know.

Anonymous said...

some times Mo really doesnt get it. I plan to be living in the USA in 10 years, and if Clinton didn't sign that politicaly correct order 10 years ago, we would have the oil now. Is he going to pay my home heating bill, gass that I need to go to work, the inflation cost of food, clothes, ect...
Maybe this should be Mo's last term,because if he doesnt work for my family, who needs Him.
boared in the berbs

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

BILL CLINTON VETOED IT in 1997? That is what 1:16 was referring to 1:37.

The republican controlled congress passed it, and sent it to Clinton's desk. Schummer has the same mental illness Hincey suffers from, called deficient basic math skills. Neither of them could pass remedial algebra, class number087 at SUNY. 10 years + 1997 = 2007.

Anonymous said...

But can he sway IBM to re-invest in Kingston with their new 140 Million Dollar investment package?


What say you Congressman Pork?

Go for it.

KL said...

I say drill away. We should have been drilling 20 years ago, but we have not been. This is both the fault of conservatives and liberals. Now the conservatives have the ball rolling, so let it roll. Liberals are too worried about saving the environment from the hoax of the century called global warming. With record snowfall and cold, we are not warming. In fact, we are heading for the next ice age. Look at the facts people. Second. We need to save the precious porcupine caribou that reside in anwr. Wrong again everybody. Research shows that caribou populations increase when there is a pipeline. Reason is temperature. When the caribou have access to the warmer pipeline they stay by it. Population increases. Third. The oil companies can go into anwr during the winter when the tundra is frozen solid, and be gone when it melts leaving virtually no trace they were there. To me this sums up what the liberals are always looking for.

In 1979 President Carter gave a speech on conservation of oil. He wanted to wean us off of foreign dependence. I say drill now, and while we are basking in the black gold invest in renewable energy sources. It's going to take time to develop everything, so in the meantime we should get the oil we need.

This issue is one that both conservatives and liberals need to come together on. We need energy. We need to tell Gore to shove it, and tell Obama to shove his win fall profit tax, and invest in energy for our country.