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OCS drilling only one part of comprehensive plan, Inglis says

July 15, 2008

OCS drilling only one part of comprehensive plan, Inglis says

U.S. Rep. Bob Inglis (R-SC) applauded President Bush’s decision today to lift the executive ban on offshore drilling. Inglis said that Congress should act to lift the legislative ban.

“We need more oil to replace the declining production from existing domestic wells,” Inglis said. “Hurricane Katrina proved that today’s oil platforms can withstand the fiercest of storms and deliver oil safely to shore.

“My main concern is that we drill for innovation much more passionately than we drill for oil,” Inglis continued. “A country that uses 25 percent of the world’s oil production and that possesses two to three percent of the world’s known oil reserves cannot drill its way to freedom.

“We may be oil wimps,” Inglis said, “but we’re innovation giants. So let’s prove that we’re smarter and stronger than oil.”

Offshore oil will take about seven to 10 years to develop and will be unlikely to affect the price since it may merely replace declines in non-OPEC production.

The executive order Bush lifted is a ban that was invoked by his father through 2012. Overlapping White House and congressional bans essentially cover both coasts and much of the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Congress renews the bans through the annual appropriations process. Work on those bills has slowed because of what has been reported as House Democrats’ reluctance to allow committee votes on amendments to widen drilling and other factors.

Bush supports giving states discretion to decide whether drilling will occur in federal waters off their shores, and to allow states to share in the revenues. Several congressional proposals included those provisions.

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