Bond Presses for Relief from High Gas Prices for America’s Families, Farmers and Workers

 WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Kit Bond at the Energy Summit held at the U.S. Senate today pressed for the need to help America’s families, farmers and workers suffering with high gas prices by increasing offshore production and thus lowering gas prices as much as possible.  Summit experts and national leaders agreed that the more new oil production, the more gas prices would drop.
            “We need to open up as much new offshore oil as possible to lower gas prices as much as possible and help the American people as much as possible,” said Bond.
            The Energy Summit convened by Senate Leaders and the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources brought together academic experts and captains of industry.  Leaders of firms from Google to GE, Shell Oil to General Motors, GoldmanSachs to Northwest Airlines all participated to share their insight on what is needed to solve our nation’s current energy crisis.
            Senator Bond highlighted the suffering of America’s families, farmers and workers feeling pain at the pump.  For them, a little bit of a gas price decrease is not enough to relieve their suffering.  They need gas prices lowered as much as possible.
            That is why Senator Bond believes a little bit of new offshore drilling is not enough.  The “Gang of 10” proposal would still leave 71 percent of the OCS off limits to new oil production.
Senator Bond noted that the so-called “Gang of 10” proposals to open new offshore oil production off 4 Atlantic States and the eastern part of the Gulf of Mexico representing 14 percent of offshore Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) area, according to the Institute for Energy Research.  Currently, 85 percent of the OCS is barred from production under a legislative moratorium. 
            Senator Bond also highlighted the lack of new oil production in the plan proposed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California.  According to the U.S. Minerals Management Service, 10 billion barrels of oil representing 97 percent of total oil reserves off the Pacific Coast are waiting for us within 25 miles of shore.  But the Pelosi plan would only open areas greater than 50 miles from shore, meaning only 3 percent of reserves would be available. 
            Witnesses at the Summit confirmed that this is fundamentally a problem of supply and demand and that the more new oil production made available, the more prices will drop.  Witnesses also quantified the current suffering.  Northwest Airlines President and CEO Douglas Steenland said that high fuel prices forced 3,500 lost jobs at his airline, and General Motors Chairman and CEO said 10,000 to 15,000 jobs at his automaker are threatened in the current environment.