Today’s Albuquerque Journal front page included a silly headline “Oil, Gas Drilling Practices Questioned” that attempted to lead the casual reader to assume that oil and gas drillers are doing something wrong by choosing not to drill on certain leased federal lands. While the article goes on to explain that permitting and the lack of any known oil and gas in some of the leased areas are just two of the many reasons that 68 million acres of federal lands are leased but not currently producing oil and gas.
The Journal is not alone in promoting ignorance of oil and gas. Indeed, there is widespread misunderstanding of oil and gas issues. For example, did you know that now that the President has rescinded the executive order prohibiting oil and gas drilling on the outer continental shelf, Congress must act before the election to keep the ban intact? The following is from the Institute for Energy Research.
American oil and gas leasing has been prohibited on most of the OCS since the 1982. The U.S. is now the only developed nation in the World that restricts access to its offshore energy resources.
The Congressional Moratorium comes in the form of an annual appropriations rider in Congress. It must be renewed annually by a vote in the Congress, which has enacted OCS leasing moratoria every year since 1981.
**Unless Congress approves a new rider – and the President signs into law a bill that includes the rider – the Congressional ban will expire on September 30, the end of the federal FY2008 fiscal year.**