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Drill for America Bill, A National Security Issue

Written by RSN

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June 14, 2008
Two weeks ago, North Carolina Representative Sue Myrick introduced the Deep Ocean Energy Resources Act.  We are in an energy crisis that is beginning to threaten our national security and I commend Representative Myrick for this bold bill.  I only wish the rest of Congress would ACT NOW and hammer out an aggressive and proactive Energy Plan to secure our nation and our people.  Instead of proposing high taxes on carbon emissions, we need our own oil, coal and other energy resources that currently exist in our country.  The US citizenry is getting very HOT and IMPATIENT with our deaf and apparently blind representatives. I urge my fellow Americans to start screaming that we are sick and tired of this and are not going to take it anymore! Thank you Rep Myrick, and I hope your colleagues will get on board and move quickly. 
Rep. Myrick Introduces Bill to Drill For American Oil To Help With High Gas Prices  
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Representative Sue Myrick (NC-9) announced that she has introduced a bill in the US House called the Deep Ocean Energy Resources Act (DOER) of 2008. This bill would end the moratorium on drilling off American coasts and would allow States to drill for oil and natural gas if they so choose. In short, this bill would increase American petroleum and natural gas supplies to help with high gas prices as well as reduce our dependence on foreign oil. 
 
“Some may say my legislation is controversial. So be it. I think it is controversial for our government to do nothing while our economy grinds to halt in large part due to the high price of gas. The American people don’t want more discussions on how to lower gas prices—they want action. That is exactly why I introduced this legislation. Increased American oil production means lower prices and less dependence on OPEC and foreign oil,” said Rep. Myrick. “We know where the oil is. Let’s go get it.”
     
Gallup released a poll on May 28, 2008, which stated 57% of Americans support drilling for oil off US Coastal areas that are currently off limits.  You can see the
poll here:  

HR 6108, the Deep Ocean Energy Resources Act of 2008 Background Information
 
·The United States is the only developed nation in the world that forbids energy production on its OCS—Cuba is allowing other countries, like China, to drill for oil close to 50 miles off the coast of Florida, while America sits with its hands tied

·Currently, two moratoriums leave 85% of the OCS off limits to energy production

·The moratoriums prohibit energy development on the OCS in waters from three miles off our coastlines, where State-owned waters end and federal waters begin, to waters beyond 200 miles off the coasts

·A 2006 Department of Interior study of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) estimated reserves of 8.5 billion barrels of oil and 29.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas

·Another 86 billion barrels of oil and 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas are classified as undiscovered resources

·Given the current record-high energy costs, particularly for gasoline and diesel fuel, the United States should be making every effort to increase petroleum and natural gas supplies

·This is particularly important given the geopolitical instability in regions that provide much of America’s energy supply

·In 2006, the House passed HR 4761, the Deep Ocean Energy Resources (DOER) Act with bipartisan support
·This bill gave coastal states the right to determine whether or not they wanted energy production off their coastline and provided equitable sharing of energy receipts
·Given the current record high energy costs – particularly for gasoline and diesel fuel – the United States should be making every effort to increase petroleum and natural gas supplies
·Because of the geopolitical instability in regions that provide much of America’s energy supply, domestic production is vitally important for energy security
 
DOER Act of 2008
 
·The DOER Act of 2008 is nearly identical to the bipartisan DOER Act of 2006, which passed in the House in July 2006
·It would give states the ability to determine whether or not they want to restrict energy production up to 100 miles off their shores
·The federal government would be enabled to enter into leases for waters beyond 100 miles
·No leasing would be permitted within 50 miles of the adjacent coastline within an area of the OCS currently subjected moratorium
·The prohibition on leases within 50 miles of a state’s coastline would not expire
·States would, however, have the right to opt out and allow leasing within 50 miles of their coastlines
·Following enactment of the DOER Act, a coastal state would have1 year to prevent natural gas leasing in the area between 50 and 100 miles of the coastline within an area of the OCS currently withdrawn from leasing
·Natural gas leasing off of one state’s coast would be prevented within 25 miles of a neighboring state’s coastline unless the neighboring state allows it
·Oil leasing off of one state’s coast would be prevented within 50 miles of a neighboring state’s coastline unless the neighboring state allows it
·Should a state choose not to act within the 1 year period, the Secretary of the Interior would be given the authority to lease areas for natural gas production (but not oil)
·Coastal states would be given roughly three years to enact restrictions for oil and gas leasing, or just oil leasing, between 50 and 100 miles of the coastline
·Coastal states would be permitted to extend the prohibition against leasing in up to 5 year increments
· Adjacent States would receive royalty shares of 75%, phased-in over time, for areas currently leased within 12 miles of their coastline
·New leases within 12 miles of a state’s coastline would immediately receive a 75% share of revenues
·Revenues of 37.5% from existing OCS leases beyond 12 miles would be shared with the states in a phased-in manner
·New OCS leases beyond 12 miles of a state’s coastline would immediately receive 37.5% of revenues
·Shared funds with states and coastal political subdivisions could be spent for a number of purposes including education, transportation, reducing taxes, environmental restoration, and any other purposes determined by state law
·The DOER Act of 2008 would extend state territorial waters to 12 miles (currently, most state waters are three miles). This is a change from the DOER Act of 2006
·The DOER Act of 2008 would give the Secretary of Defense a waiver allowing leasing east of the Military Mission line, sharing receipts with the State National Guard. This is a change from the DOER Act of 2006
·The DOER Act of 2008 would authorize funds for the Department of the Interior and the States where production occurred, including OCS Adjacent Zones, for monitoring and management of wildlife and fish, and their habitats, and air, water, and other natural resources
·The bill would authorize funds for a Federal Energy and Mineral Resources Professional Development Program
·This program would support existing programs at ABET-accredited petroleum and mining schools, applied geology and geophysics programs, and to individuals for degrees in petroleum and mining engineering, petroleum/mining geology & geophysics and mineral economics
·The DOER Act would also create a National Geo Program, which would authorize funds for a grant program for production of renewable energy from ocean wave, current, and thermal resources
·The National Geo Program would also authorize funds for a grant program for front-end planning for coal-to-liquids, petroleum coke-to-liquids, oil shale, tar sands, heavy oil, and, in Alaska natural gas-to-liquids projects
·Grants for renewable energy production from geothermal and geopressure resources in oil and gas fields would also be authorized by the National Geo Program
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