Corker Signs DeMint Letter Urging End to Bans on Offshore Oil and Western Shale Exploration

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) today joined a group of senators in a letter asking Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to allow the October 1, 2008 expiration of current prohibitions on American energy exploration and production.

“We need a balanced approach that will allow us to produce more energy here at home and use less, with a strong emphasis on conservation as we move to alternative energy sources,” said Sen. Corker. “I support environmentally friendly offshore oil drilling and oil shale production as a bridge to the future while we invest in alternative energy technology. The reality is we cannot make the transition to alternatives overnight.”
The text of the letter, spearheaded by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), follows.
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.

In addition to DeMint and Corker, the following senators also signed the letter: Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Wayne Allard (R-CO), John Barrasso (R-WY), Bill Bennett (R-UT), Kit Bond (R-MO), Sam Brownback (R-KS), Jim Bunning (R-KY), Richard Burr (R-NC), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Norm Coleman (MN), John Cornyn (R-TX), Larry Craig (ID), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Pete Domenici (R-NM), John Ensign (R-NV), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Judd Gregg (R-NH), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Richard Lugar (R-IN), Mel Martinez (R-FL), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Richard Shelby (R-AL), Ted Stevens (R-AK), John Sununu (R-NH), John Thune (R-SD), David Vitter (R-LA), Georgia Voinovich (R-OH), John Warner (R-VA), and Roger Wicker (R-MS).