American Oil Remains Unlocked

Written by RSN


June 21, 2008
Senator Tom Coburn Press Room
coburnweb.jpgTo Lower Gas Prices Now! Here Is How…
Total onshore Federal lands throughout the U.S. are estimated to contain 31 billion barrels of oil.” However, the Bureau of Land Management estimates that 62 percent of oil is on federal (taxpayer) land and is off limits as a result.

Even more disturbing, BLM believes that just 8 percent of onshore federal oil and 10 percent of on-shore federal natural gas is “accessible under standard lease terms.”

The Minerals Management Service estimates oil and gas resources in undiscovered fields on the Outer Continental Shelf total 86 billion barrels of oil and 420 trillion cubic feet of gas. Yet, by Executive Order and annual Congressional bans attached to appropriations, the majority of these fields are off limits. Of the 1.76 billion Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) acres, only an estimated 43 million acres are leased.

According to the Congressional Research Service, oil shale in the states of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming possess an estimated 1.8 trillion barrels of oil. Nationwide, estimates for total oil reserves from oil shale are as high as 6 trillion barrels. However, Democrats used the Omnibus Appropriations Bill of 2008 to restrict access to all oil shale on federal lands. This precludes exploration and production for 80% of all available oil shale in America
Coburn Urges Congress to Stop Obstructing Access to American Energy Resources

June 18, 2008

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Tom Coburn M.D. (R-OK), released the following statement today calling on Congress to take steps to encourage access of our vast energy resources.

“America is sitting on an ocean of oil but all consumers have seen in Washington is a river of excuses. It’s time for both parties in Washington to end the era of doing nothing on energy policy and get on with the business of easing access to our own vast and untapped resources,” Dr. Coburn said.

“President Bush and many of my colleagues deserve credit for being willing to reverse the failed and outdated moratorium on offshore drilling. Congress also should encourage access to the 800 billion barrels of recoverable oil shale in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, an amount that rivals the size of oil fields in Saudi Arabia. In addition, Congress should take steps to increase domestic refining capacity and permit oil exploration in ANWR,” Dr. Coburn said.

“Like it or not, our economy will depend on fossil fuels for the next several decades. While we all hope for the day when undiscovered technologies will end our reliance on fossil fuels, it is inexcusable for Congress to continue to block access to our own resources,” Dr. Coburn said.

“Some of my colleagues have complained that these policies won’t lower prices in the near term. Yet, that charge is an indictment of the very politicians who are complaining. If Congress and previous administrations had taken these steps 25 years ago before gas was $4.00 a gallon we wouldn’t be in this predicament,” Dr. Coburn said.

“What won’t lower the price of gas is knee-jerk partisan rhetoric, half-baked conspiracy theories and anti free-market diatribes about oil companies. The problem facing American consumers isn’t Big Oil but Big Excuses in Washington. It’s time for politicians to quit looking for scapegoats for their own lack of vision, creativity and courage and do what we should have been doing for the past 25 years – easing access to the energy resources within our borders,” Dr. Coburn said.

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