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House Passes the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006 (S. 3711)

For Immediate Release. December 9, 2006On Friday, December 8, 2006, the House of Representatives approved by a 367-45 vote a measure that would allow oil and gas exploration in the energy – rich region of the eastern gulf of Mexico, the “ Lease Sale 181” area that is located 100 miles off the Florida panhandle and Alabama coast.  

Globally, the United States remains the only nation to have placed a significant percentage of its domestic energy potential off-limits.  Essentially, everywhere except in the central and western Gulf of Mexico, oil and natural gas production is not allowed in 85 percent of America's territorial waters.  Often conservative and lower than expected are initially energy inventories of which it has been estimated that there are 19 billion barrels of oil and 84 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in these off-limits areas according to a recent Department of the Interior study.  In quantitative terms, 84 trillion cubic feet of natural gas could provide fifteen years of energy for 6 million households.  And based on the current imports from Saudi Arabia, the 19 billion barrels would last for about 30 years. 

In one example, recently from a single deep-water Gulf of Mexico well, Chevron Corporation recorded a stunning 6,000-plus barrel per day crude oil production rate. Chevron indicated that the Jack 2 well as it is known sits in 7,000 feet of water and was drilled to more than 28,000 feet.  Furthermore, next year another appraisal well will be drilled by Chevron and its partners, Devon Energy Corporation of Oklahoma City and Norway's Statoil ASA have plans to begin commercial production in 2008. The Jack 2 could mean billions of barrels of as-yet untapped crude oil available to the market if expectations of the region's potential are correct. 

“Daily this nation uses about 21 million barrels of oil and though this measure is more   symbolic than representing actual need, it demonstrates that Congress has taken an initial step forward to meet the energy demands of this nation.  However, what will determine if the next Congress truly understands the issue at hand, ensures continued economic prosperity, and preserves this nation's national security will be subsequent legislation that allows for further and comprehensive exploration of this nation's domestic energy potential,” said Dr. Joel P. Rutkowski, president of the American Voice Institute of Public Policy.

For Interviews Contact:

Joel P. Rutkowski, P.h.D.
President, The American Voice Institute Of Public Policy

jrutkowski@americanvoiceinstitute.org

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