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New Energy Plan Introduced to Reduce Cost of Gasoline

June 26, 2008

Senate GOP Introduce Common Sense Energy Plan "Gas Price Reduction Act of 2008."
WASHINGTON, DC - Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, commented today on the introduction of the Senate Republicans' "Gas Price Reduction Act of 2008."

"The Senate Republicans have proposed a common sense energy plan to bring real relief to the American people," Senator Inhofe said. "With recent polls showing overwhelming support for offshore drilling, I am hopeful that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle will join us in this effort. Unfortunately, Democrats and environmental activists have pursued a strategy to shift the focus from the real issue of increasing domestic supply to issues that won't bring down the price of gas - nationalizing refineries, suing OPEC, price gouging, global warming and windfall profits taxes. The ‘Gas Price Reduction Act of 2008' will help restore sanity to our national energy policy."

Background:  

A recent Rasmussen Poll shows that 67% of Americans support offshore drilling, while only 18% oppose. Democrats are blocking development of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), of which 85 percent is currently off limits.  The Department of the Interior estimates that the OCS contains 19 billion barrels of undiscovered recoverable oil.  That equals 35 years of imports from Saudi Arabia. According to the government's own Energy Information Administration (EIA) data, the U.S. imported over 543 million barrels of oil from Saudi Arabia in 2007. Using these 2007 figures, the potential of OCS American-based resources equals 35 years of imports from Saudi Arabia. 

Democrats are blocking development of oil shales. Although commercial scale development is more than a decade away, Rand Corporation estimates up to 1.1 trillion recoverable barrels of oil exist in the oil shales. Once again, using EIA data, that equals more than 2000 years' worth of imports from Saudi Arabia.  Despite its enormous potential, Democrats put a moratorium on the final regulations for development of this domestic resource.

Highlights of the Senate Republicans "GAS PRICE REDUCTION ACT OF 2008":  

The legislation is a result of efforts by Senate Republicans to intensify the legislative debate and provide a vehicle for bipartisan action addressing high gas prices.
 
TITLE I: DEEP SEA EXPLORATION (OCS)
14 Billion Barrels On Atlantic and Pacific OCS - More Than All US Imports From Persian Gulf Countries Over The Last 15 Years Allows
  • State Option Nationwide (except Gulf of Mexico)
  • Governor petitions to allow exploration, with concurrence of state legislature
  • Exploration must be at least 50 miles from coast
  • 50% of revenues to Federal Treasury, 37.5% to States, 12.5% to Land & Water Conservation Fund
TITLE II: WESTERN STATE OIL SHALE EXPLORATION More Than 3 Times The Oil Reserves Of Saudi Arabia
  • <800 billion - 2 trillion potentially recoverable barrels in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming
  • Democrat Congress put moratorium on final regulations for development of this resource
  •  Republican proposal would repeal the moratorium and allow exploration to move forward

TITLE III: PLUG-IN ELECTRIC CARS AND TRUCKS

  • We need better batteries to maximize electricity range & use less gas
  • Increased R&D for advanced batteries
  • Direct Loans for advanced battery manufacturing facilities
  • Sense of Senate that the Federal Government should increase its purchases of these vehicles

TITLE IV: STRENGTHENING U.S. FUTURES MARKETS

  • Authorizes increased funding/staff for Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)
  • Directs the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets to study the international regulation of commodities markets
  • Codifies CFTC action on position limits and transparency for foreign boards of trade
  • Requires the CFTC to gather information on index traders and swap dealers 






     
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