Republican Oil Plan: 'Where's The Time Machine?' Asks Menendez

Republican Oil Plan: 'Where's The Time Machine?' Asks Menendez

Member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee is author of bill to permanently ban drilling up and down U.S. coastlines

Washington - This morning, Senate Republicans unveiled legislation that makes opening up the East and West coasts for drilling the centerpiece of their plan to solve America's energy problems.

U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), a member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the author of the COAST Act to permanently ban drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), released the following statement:

"Unfortunately, this absurd plan doesn't include a time machine that can take us to the year 2017 - the year coastline drilling will finally produce its first drop of oil. This isn't a gas price reduction bill, it's a oil dependence escalation bill. This plan is about helping Big Oil, not American drivers - that is probably why people are starting to say 'GOP' stands for 'Grand Oil Party.'

"A drill, drill, drill plan will give no relief to American families at the pump, now or ever. It will take a decade to produce any oil, and even at full production in 2030, coastline oil production would lower gas prices only a few cents a gallon. Instead of bending over backward for oil companies, we should be pushing them to utilize the 68 million acres of unused land already leased to them by the government and American taxpayers. Right now oil companies have access to over 100 billion barrels of oil - it is time they put their $600 billion in profits to work and start producing what they have instead of looking for more handouts."

On oil speculation provision:

"It is interesting to see that the GOP plan finally includes a provision to address oil speculation - unfortunately, it's more window dressing than anything. Their speculation provision is hopelessly weak, and there have been no signals that the Republican Party will stop blocking several strong Democratic proposals that will actually clamp down on speculation. They are exploiting high gas prices to attempt to help Big Oil, and at the same time, they are protecting Wall Street Fat Cats instead of addressing the real problem.

On battery technology provision:

"I was also surprised to see an anemic provision on battery technology. We do not need a loan program for plug-in hybrids, what we need is a tax credit so consumers can buy commercially-available plug-in cars when they are introduced in 2010. Unfortunately, the Republican Party refuses to let us pass the Renewable Energy Tax Extender package, which contains these important incentives for plug-in hybrids."

Republicans Misleading America About Oil

GOP Claim: Opening up the East and West Coasts to oil drilling will reduce oil and gas prices.

Fact: American Drivers Want Help Now- Not in 2030. No oil from the GOP plan will be produced until 2017 and it will be 2030 before full production will come on line. The East and almost all of the West Coast has no oil drilling infrastructure- no oil rigs, no pipelines to the shore, and no refineries at the end of those pipelines. [EIA, http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/aeo/otheranalysis/ongr.html]

GOP Claim: U.S. oil companies are being blocked from producing more oil domestically.
Fact: Oil Companies Have Lands to Drill On. Oil companies have 68 million acres of leases that are not producing any oil. [House Natural Resources Committee, http://resourcescommittee.house.gov/images/stories/Documents/truth_about_americas_energy.pdf]

Fact: Oil Companies Have Access to 100 Billion Barrels of Oil. Oil companies have access to 100 billion barrels of conventional oil under federal lands and waters that are not under any moratoria and are being leased or are available for leasing. [House Natural Resources Committee]
Fact: Oil Companies are Producing at Full Tilt Already. More lands will not increase production. "Every single available drilling rig, drill ship is in use - being used right now. You can't go and drill when you don't have equipment. We are not magicians as an industry." [Red Cavaney, President & CEO, American Petroleum Institute, on This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Sunday, June 23, 2008]

GOP claim: 14 Billion Barrels from the Atlantic and Pacific OCS amounts to more than all US imports from Persian Gulf countries over the last 15 Years.
Fact: GOP Drilling Plan < 2 Year Supply. 14 billion barrels amounts to less than 2 years supply of oil for the U.S. and the simple fact is that most US oil imports come from North America, South America , and Africa - not the Middle East. [DOE, http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/dnav/pet/pet_move_impcus_a2_nus_epc0_im0_mbblpd_a.htm]
Fact: GOP Drilling Plan Realistically < Half Year Supply. No state on the West Coast will ever allow drilling, and since the Gulf Coast is excluded from the plan, the GOP is banking on the East Coast for production. According to the EIA, the East Coast OCS contains only 3.82 billion barrels of oil. About a half year of supply for the U.S. or 1/8th of the oil the world consumes in a year. [EIA, http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/aeo/otheranalysis/ongr.html]

GOP Claim: Drilling off the coast of one state will not affect neighboring states.
Fact: Oil Does Not Sit Still - New Jersey is Within Reach. The Exxon Valdez or the IXTOC I oil drilling spill would have coated the East Coast - from New York to South Carolina if either accident had happened off the coast of Virginia. [IXTOC I: http://www.incidentnews.gov/incident/6250/ ; Exxon Valdez: http://www.conservationgiscenter.org/maps/html/exxon_spill.html]

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