Press Releases

WASHINGTON. – In less than a month, Americans will finally gain access to their own energy supply if Congress doesn't stand in the way, according to U.S. Senators Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, both R-Wyo.  

Enzi and Barrasso joined 37 senators in sending a letter to Senate leadership Thursday, urging both parties' leaders to protect American Energy Freedom Day – the day when current bans on oil shale leasing and offshore drilling on most of the Outer Continental Shelf will expire.  With the expiration of these provisions on Oct. 1, Americans will be able to tap into new domestic energy sources unless Congress proactively acts to extend the bans.  

"It is our hope that Democrats and Republicans will stand together to support American Energy Freedom Day on October 1, 2008," the senators wrote.  "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."

For Wyoming residents grappling with the rising costs of gas, the expiration of the current bans on energy exploration will mean more access to American-made energy than ever.  According to estimates by the Minerals Management Service and the Bureau of Land Management, nearly 14 billion barrels of crude oil and more than 55 trillion cubic feet of natural gas are available on the Outer Continental Shelf.  Energy extracted from the Western states' oil shale has the potential to recover more oil than is in Saudi Arabia.

A copy of the senators' letter is included below.

 The Honorable Harry Reid

Democratic Leader

United States Senate

Washington, DC 20510

 

The Honorable Mitch McConnell

Republican Leader

United States Senate

Washington, DC 20510

 
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.