August 13th, 2008, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today called upon 13 Senate Republicans to join their colleagues in signing a letter to the Senate leadership urging an end to the current bans on off-shore drilling, natural gas and oil shale exploration.
Wilson’s action came in response to the release by Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) of a letter from 36 Republican members of the Senate to Senate Leaders Harry Reid (D-NV) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY) calling upon the Senate to allow the current moratoria on off-shore drilling and oil shale exploration to simply expire on October 1st.
According to the DeMint letter, “It is our hope that Democrats and Republicans will stand together to support American Energy Freedom Day on October 1, 2008. On this day, the current prohibitions on oil and gas exploration off the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) and in the oil-shale fields of the West will expire, giving Americans the freedom to access their own energy and providing them with relief from sky-high prices at the pump.”
Wilson followed up that letter with a letter of his own to the 13 reluctant Republican members of the Senate who did not sign on DeMint’s letter. In it, Wilson urges members to “take a stand that will ensure that harmful regulations never again get in the way of the market providing much needed energy supplies to the American people.”
In a statement, Wilson said, “It is important that members of the Senate unite around the proposition that government overregulation is the problem that prevents America from producing more energy, and that’s the reason oil and gasoline costs so much. By lifting restrictions on increasing supply, it’s a win-win for American families struggling to make ends meet.”
Wilson predicted that if Congress does not act now to lift the moratoria as to signal America’s intent to drill for its own oil, their winter’s heating bills may make the current gasoline price crisis seem mild in comparison.
“How are people—already on the edge—going to heat their homes this winter?” he asked. “Congress needs to allow the restrictions on oil, oil shale, and natural gas exploration to expire so that Americans do not need to chop firewood to keep warm in the coming months, or turn their thermostats down to 60 degrees in hopes of financially surviving the winter .”
In his letter to the Senators, Wilson states “The U.S. restrictions on oil production have already had a deleterious impact on prices as the world’s oil supply did not keep up with global demand. America has a strategic interest in assuring adequate supplies for the American people and the economy. The current lack of supply is largely the result of conscious government policy.”
Congress will reconvene after the August recess where it is expected that the Democrat-controlled House and Senate will attempt to reauthorize the current bans on energy exploration and recovery.
“It is up to the Republican members of the Senate to make sure that doesn’t happen,” said Wilson.