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    Pelosi Will `Consider' Drilling, With Concessions

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    Pelosi Will `Consider' Drilling, With Concessions

    Post by sang_garuda on Sun Aug 17, 2008 7:25 am

    Aug. 16-- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she will consider allowing offshore oil and gas drilling in some areas, with concessions from the oil industry, a softening of her earlier opposition to opening new areas to exploration.

    The California Democrat said a legislative proposal to be introduced ``in the coming weeks'' also would include expanding drilling in the Alaska oil reserve already designated for that, opening the nation's reserves of oil to reduce pump prices ``within 10 days,'' boosting support for alternative energy and reducing the cost of mass transit.

    Democrats have been under increasing pressure to allow offshore drilling as Republicans push the issue as a way to lower gas prices. Pelosi rejected holding a vote on drilling before the House adjourned for its five-week recess on Aug. 1 and last week said it should be considered only as part of a broader package.

    ``This comprehensive Democratic approach will ensure energy independence which is essential to our national security, will create millions of good paying jobs here at home in a new green economy and will take major steps forward in addressing the global climate crisis,'' she said in the Democratic Party's weekly radio address.

    Pelosi's proposal is in line with that of Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama. She said the Republicans, including presidential candidate John McCain, offer a ``drill only'' plan that would lower gas prices just 2 cents a gallon over 10 years.

    `Appropriate Safeguards'

    She said her proposal would consider opening portions of the Outer Continental Shelf for drilling, ``with appropriate safeguards, and without taxpayer subsidies to Big Oil.'' She also called on the oil companies to pay what she said is billions of dollars owed in royalties to invest in clean energy resources.

    ``The speaker is deliberately misrepresenting the facts about our plan in order to shift attention away from the Democrats' shameful record,'' House Republican Leader John Boehner of Ohio said in a statement.

    Boehner blamed the Democratic-controlled Congress for ``an historic rise in gas prices'' and said ``their refusal to address this crisis has made matters even worse for American families, small businesses, seniors and schools.''

    The Sierra Club environmental group said it supports Pelosi's proposal and a debate ``will allow the truth to come out'' that offshore drilling would only benefit oil companies without lowering gas prices.

    Clean Energy Solutions

    Pelosi's proposal ``includes crucial clean energy solutions and other important measures that will make America more energy independent, offer consumers relief at the pump, and will force drilling supporters to admit whether they really want to move America forward or simply want to continue helping the oil companies,'' Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope said in a statement.

    Regular unleaded gasoline reached an average pump price of $4.11 a gallon on July 7, and oil touched a record $147.27 a barrel on July 11. While prices have dropped since, energy has become a top issue in the 2008 election campaigns for president and Congress.

    President George W. Bush has been pressing lawmakers to lift a moratorium on offshore drilling that has been in place since 1982 and to open more domestic land to oil and gas exploration.

    Pelosi and other Democrats previously argued that the amount of oil available wasn't worth the environmental risk from extracting it. The U.S. Interior Department estimates the areas now off-limits may hold 17.8 billion barrels of oil. The Energy Department says the country consumes 20.2 million barrels a day.

    The House this session has failed to pass a number of bills because of Republican objections to Pelosi's refusal to allow drilling amendments. Among the measures is one that would have required oil companies to drill on existing leases and another that would have curbed speculation in energy and agricultural commodity markets.

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    Re: Pelosi Will `Consider' Drilling, With Concessions

    Post by Prodip2007 on Sun Aug 17, 2008 10:08 am

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      Waktu sekarang Tue May 22, 2018 7:43 am