Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, both R-Wyo., praised legislation which removes the current ban on off-shore oil and gas exploration and oil shale development. The drilling moratorium will expire on October 1 after 26 years. The Senators believe Americans are a step closer to energy independence.
“Unlocking these reserves of energy is vital to bringing prices down at the pump and releasing America from foreign oil barons. This is energy we can produce on our own soil without sending billions of dollars overseas,” said Enzi. “Wyoming oil shale reserves have the potential to produce billions of barrels of oil and we need to be allowed to explore the viability of that resource. That exploration can finally happen.”
“This is a major victory for Wyoming families who are suffering at the pump. The public has spoken and the Democrats unreasonable opposition has run out of gas,” Senator Barrasso said. “America needs energy independence. America needs this drilling to begin as quickly as possible. There is still more to do. As a matter of principal, we cannot allow Washington liberals to block energy production via endless litigation."
The Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance and Continuing Appropriations Act of 2009, was released this week. It did not include an extension of the ban. The House could vote on the bill later today.
The Congressional moratorium halted any drilling for oil and gas in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). It also stopped any further development of oil shale deposits. Congressional members announced late Tuesday that they would not include an extension of the moratorium on drilling and oil shale development. Once the ban expires on Oct. 1 the Department of Interior can begin the process of leasing these areas.