Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, today joined several of his Senate Republican colleagues to welcome the expiration of the ban on offshore oil drilling and the leasing of oil shale.

"Allowing the moratorium that bars offshore development and oil shale exploration to expire is a victory for the American people and our goal of energy security," Senator Inhofe said. "America is finally able to utilize its plentiful domestic natural resources to help address high gas prices at the pump.   

"After decades of refusing to allow common sense resource extraction, the Democrats finally folded on the issues of offshore development and oil shale just five weeks before Election Day. Quite simply, Democrats feared opposing the will of the American people to utilize more domestic energy supplies. Despite the Democrats complete capitulation on this issue; they undoubtedly will once again attempt to restrict access to domestic energy sources after the political expediency of Election Day passes.  

"A vast majority of Americans now support offshore drilling and greater use of domestic energy resources.  Republicans have consistently proposed measures to address high gasoline prices by increasing our domestic production.  As often noted, America is not running out of oil and gas or running out of places to look for oil and gas.  America is running out of places where we are allowed to look for oil and gas.

"The Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) holds at least 19 billion barrels of recoverable oil. These enormous reserves are equivalent to 35 years' worth of oil imports from Saudi Arabia. In addition, up to 1.1 trillion barrels of oil are estimated to be recoverable from oil shale and at prices as low as $35 to $48 dollars per barrel, within the first 12 years of commercial scale production.  At current rates of consumption, 1.1 trillion barrels equals more than 145 years of domestic supply."