July 17, 2008

The US Chamber of Commerce Strongly Opposes HR 6515

The US Chamber of Commerce is letting Congress know they are opposed to H.R. 6515, a.k.a. the "Drill Responsibly in Leased Lands" bill. We've been hearing the Democrats whine for months now about the oil companies not extracting oil from the lands they currently lease.

According to the Chamber Post Blog, they have released a key vote letter to members of Congress urging them to vote against this bill. In part, the letter states that the Chamber:

strongly opposes H.R. 6515, the "Drill Responsibly in Leased Lands Act of 2008," because its few pro-energy provisions are far outweighed by its punitive antienergy provisions. H.R. 6515 could ultimately result in the production of less American oil and natural gas, which, in turn, would lead to higher prices
and even more pain at the pump for consumers.

Section 7 of H.R. 6515, more commonly referred to as "use it or lose it," is completely unnecessary because oil and gas producers already operate under binding, statutory time limits for their leases. For onshore production, Section 17(e) of the Mineral Leasing Act, 30 U.S.C. § 226(e), stipulates that an oil company must have a producing well within 10 years, or else surrender the lease. For offshore production, the Outer
Continental Shelf Lands Act, 43 U.S.C. § 1337(b), stipulates that an oil company must produce energy within either five or 10 years, or else surrender the lease. Simply put, leaseholders are already required to surrender leases that are not producing.

The cost of natural gas is expected to double this winter over last year's price. The cost of a gallon of gas is now over $4.00. Prices of everything are now going up. People are losing their jobs. The last thing we need is Congress passing another inane law that will drive energy costs up even further while doing nothing to increase domestic production.

We are supposed to have "representative government". Something is terribly wrong when the American people overwhelmingly support legislation to open up more federal lands for drilling and Congress ignores our wishes. Is it any wonder their approval rating is so low?

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