Companies Begin Quest For Oil Offshore: Oil And Gas Prices Emerging As #1 Issue

So, how much have you been paying to fill your gas tank? Quite a bit more than you were when the Democrats took control of Congress back in 2007. Gas prices have gone up over 38% since then. The American people want change. Not the change Barack Obama is proposing (i.e. more disastrous Socialism), but a change in domestic energy production policy.

That change would be to lift the stifling rules and regulations that prevent us from producing our own energy right here at home. Conceivably, our domestic oil companies could produce oil at $60/bbl instead of having to pay $145/bbl or even $200/bbl when the price gets that high.

According to the Associated Press:

Oil companies once viewed drilling in the deep waters off Florida as cost prohibitive. Politicians feared even the slightest sign of support would be career suicide.

No more. Record crude oil prices are fueling support for oil and natural gas exploration off the nation’s shores. In Florida, movement was under way even before President Bush called on Congress last month to lift a federal moratorium that’s barred new offshore drilling since 1981.

The early activity here stems from a 2006 Congressional compromise that allows drilling on 8.3 million acres more than 125 miles off the Panhandle — an area that had been covered by the moratorium, which was enacted out of environmental concerns. In exchange, the state got a no-drilling buffer along the rest of its beaches.

2006. That’s when the Republicans controlled Congress. They had more than enough votes to force the issue, but certain Republicans decided to become obstructionists, including the GOP Presidential candidate John McCain.

McCain better be singing a different tune today, because Barack Obama is the one constantly saying “no” to viable solutions to our energy crisis. Here’s what the American voter is thinking:

With gas topping $4 a gallon, recent polls show Americans, Floridians included, more supportive of drilling in protected areas. Some politicians — including Gov. Charlie Crist — have switched sides.

“We think the public is way out ahead of the politicians on these issues. People are more open to (offshore drilling) now,” said Tom Moskitis, spokesman for the American Gas Association, a trade group.

At the same time, oil companies, driven by the record energy price, are more willing to risk $100 million or more to begin exploring new regions. The Interior Department estimates there could be 18 billion barrels of oil and 77 trillion cubic feet of natural gas beneath the 574 million acres of federal coastal waters that are now off-limits.

And when people realize that the energy crisis is going to threaten the family vacation to Disney World, they will end up voting for the candidate who will work the hardest to remove the threat. That is why John McCain had better be listening to the people on this one.

More:

But politicians who once supported the ban are changing their minds.

Sen. John McCain supports lifting the ban and allowing states to decide whether to approve drilling of their shores. Crist, Florida’s Republican governor and a possible vice presidential candidate, reversed his long-standing opposition to lifting the ban last month.

The ban won’t be lifted without a fight.

Sen. Bill Nelson, who has led opposition to offshore drilling among the state’s congressional delegation, criticized the governor for reversing his position, accusing Crist and McCain of putting oil company profits before protecting the state’s $65 billion annual tourism industry.

But Nelson seems to be completely ignorant of the fact that if people can’t put gas in their cars, or airlines can’t put fuel into airplanes, then the tourist industry in Florida is going to take a huge hit. People aren’t going to walk hundreds of miles to get to Florida, especially if they have children.

You can access the complete article on-line here:

Companies Begin Quest For Oil, Gas Off Florida
Associated Press via MSNBC.com
July 4, 2008

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