10.01.2008 0

Day 57: Reid Inserts Oil Shale Drilling Ban into Appropriations Bill

  • On: 10/23/2008 10:34:47
  • In: Energy Crisis, Global Warming Fraud, and the Environment

  • In a last-minute act of treachery, Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) has inserted a reauthorization of the moratorium on oil shale exploration into the Homeland Security appropriations bill.

    According Senator Jim DeMint’s (R-SC) blog:

    “We’ve just been alerted that despite House Democrats relenting on extending bans on offshore drilling and oil shale in the continuing resolution (CR) appropriations bill, Democrat Senate Leader Harry Reid has decided to sneak an extension of the oil shale ban through as Congress fights over the financial bailout. Oil shale in America’s West is estimated to hold be between 800 billion and 2 trillion barrels of oil — that is more than three times the proven oil reserves in Saudi Arabia alone.

    “Here is the text of Reid’s proposed new ban on oil shale, that he is trying to add as an amendment to the CR or move seperately as a ‘stimulus’ package, or we should say an anti-stimulus package if this is included.

    “Sec 1602 continues ban on oil shale. The language follows:

    “SEC. 1602. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, including section 152 of division A of H.R. 2638 (110th Congress), the Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2009, the terms and conditions contained in section 433 of division F of Public Law 110–161 shall remain in effect for the 19 fiscal year ending September 30, 2009.

    “It would be an insult to all Americans if Senate Democrats worked to bailout Wall Street while damaging our future prosperity by banning development of vast energy reserves in oil shale.”

    As it stands, the ban on oil shale exploration expires on October 1st along with the bans on off-shore oil and natural gas drilling. As ALG News reported yesterday, House Democrats have surrendered on any more attempts to reauthorize the moratoria. That was an important battle for Congressional Republicans to win, but clearly the fight is not yet over.

    Now, it is up to Senator DeMint and the other 39 Republican Senators to stand up for the principles outlined in their letter to Senate leadership:

    “Dear Senators Reid and McConnell,

    “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.

    “We strongly encourage you to allow the expiration of these prohibitions on American energy exploration and production, as scheduled under current law, and we will actively oppose any attempt to extend them. Now is not the time to deny Americans access to their own energy supply.

    “Thank you for your consideration. We look forward to working with you to ensure a victory for the American people on American Energy Freedom Day.”

    Senate Majority Leader Reid appears to be calculating that Republicans will not be able to muster the votes necessary to defeat his amendment because his extension of the moratorium only includes oil shale.

    However, the 40 Republican Senators who signed the DeMint letter need to act on their word that “[n]ow is not the time to deny Americans access to their own energy supply.” And just because Congress is considering yet another big bailout for the ailing housing market is no reason for Senators to lose their fortitude in fighting for American energy independence.

    This treachery must not go unanswered.


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