WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Pete Domenici, ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, today issued the following statement regarding President Bush’s announcement that he is lifting the Executive Moratorium on exploration in the outer continental shelf:
“The American economy is being dragged down by high energy prices, and President Bush today is demonstrating that he’s serious about fixing the problem. With this announcement, it is now crystal clear that the only thing standing in the way of lower prices at the pump through increased production is Democrats in Congress.
“Poll after poll indicates that the American people understand our nation has a fundamental supply and demand problem. Spending hundreds of billions of dollars to import foreign oil is not the answer. We need to be exploring all our options—and that includes deep sea exploration.
“While so far Democrats have tried to divert attention from the real problem by inventing excuses and obscuring the issue, I am hopeful that record prices at the pump and the public’s outcry for action will produce bipartisan agreement to lift the Congressional moratorium and bring prices down for the American people.
“Congress will have the opportunity to be heard on this issue through the Appropriations process coming up shortly. The legislation introduced by Republicans, including the bill I introduced in May, provides a reasonable path forward on offshore exploration which will allow each state to opt in if they wish. I hope that we will adopt this policy, which will send an immediate message to the global markets that America is serious about becoming less dependent on foreign oil.”