12 September 2007 23:12 [Source: ICIS news]
“I find the House bill very disappointing,” Bodman said.
Speaking at an impromptu press conference as oil prices climbed to a new record high of $79.91/bbl, Bodman said the Bush administration “has done everything we know how to do with respect to increasing oil and gas supplies”.
He said the Bush White House and his department have pressed members of the Democrat-led Congress to increase access to US outer continental shelf (OCS) energy resources and oil fields in part of the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR) in
“The OCS area and ANWR are very important initiatives, and we will continue to try to make our case to our friends in Congress,” Bodman said. “And I don’t know what more to say to them.”
For environmental reasons, Congress has maintained a moratorium for 26 years on exploration and development in 85% of federally owned US offshore regions known to hold vast reserves of oil and gas. Bodman charged that Congress is moving toward further restrictions on domestic
“If you read the proposed energy bill passed by the House, one could only conclude that they seem to have an interest in punishing oil companies and to make it more difficult to get access to federal lands to develop our oil reserves,” he said.
HR-3221, the Democrat-sponsored House energy bill passed by a vote of 241-172 on 4 August, calls for increased fees and taxes on energy development companies, makes drilling permitting more complex and commits the bill’s new oil industry tax revenues to conservation and alternative energy research. The measure is now pending in the US Senate.
Bodman also said the new record high oil price is troublesome but that oil inventories are reasonable and OPEC ministers have taken a proper step in announcing on Tuesday a 500,000 bbls/day increase in the cartel’s oil production.
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