31 July 2006 22:32 [Source: ICIS news]
WASHINGTON (ICIS news)--The two senators leading efforts to expand oil and gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico held a press conference on Monday to highlight support for a Senate measure that would open up a specific area of the gulf to energy exploration.
Senators Pete Domenici (Republican - New Mexico) and Mary Landrieu (Democrat - Louisiana) pressed for the passage of the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act, which may come to a final vote later today or Tuesday. The senators were joined by American Chemistry Council (ACC) President and chief executive Jack Gerard, who released a statement of support for the bill.
“For the first time in 25 years, the US Senate stands on the brink of opening new areas of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) to energy exploration," Gerard said. "With ?xml:namespace>
The legislation, sponsored by Domenici, would open about 8.3m acres in the
However, Minority Leader Harry Reid (Democrat -
“The Senate must continue the considerable momentum generated over the past six months to increase the nation’s natural gas supply and provide immediate relief to industry and consumers alike. Congress is beginning to understand what millions of Americans already know, we can no longer afford to wait to solve the country’s growing energy crisis," Gerard said.
The ACC estimates that the chemical industry uses about 10% of the nation’s total supply of natural gas. In addition, short domestic supply of natural gas has made natural gas very expensive to buy from US suppliers, forcing $60bn in energy transactions overseas and costing more than 100,000 jobs, according to ACC.
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