18 May 2007 20:55 [Source: ICIS news]
Representatives John Peterson (Republican-Pennsylvania) and Neil Abercrombie (Democrat-Hawaii) said they will introduce a bill next week that will restore access to large offshore reserves of natural gas and direct part of the resulting federal leasing royalties to environmental work.
Under the “National Environment and Energy Development (NEED) Act,” congressional moratoria that now bar energy development in 85% of the
Part of the royalty revenues raised by offshore energy development would be shared with state governments that participate.
Access to vast offshore gas reserves has been a major policy goal of US chemicals manufacturers for the last five years in the wake of three-fold increases in the price of gas. Natural gas is the principal feedstock for
US offshore areas now under congressional drilling bans are believed to hold more than 600trn cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas. The
Peterson’s office said the NEED Act would dedicate tens of billions of dollars in royalties to renewable energy research and work toward environmental restoration of the Great Lakes in the US midwest, San Francisco Bay in California and the Chesapeake Bay off the Virginia and Maryland coasts on the Atlantic Ocean.
In an apparent bid to enlist environmentalists’ and multi-state backing for the offshore energy bill, the measure also would fund recovery work in the
Peterson said in a statement that the bill has the support of key House members along with backing from industry and labour groups. The measure is likely to face stiff opposition in Congress where many coastal states have long blocked such measures for fear of damage to their tourism beaches.
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