WASHINGTON – Today, after meeting with economic advisors, President Bush reiterated his call for Congress to open up new areas of oil drilling, including the U.S. coastlines.
U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), a leading opponent of drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf and author of the COAST Act to permanently ban drilling there, released the following statement:
“Apparently President Bush’s economic team does not realize his coastline drilling plan won’t produce a drop of oil for a decade and won’t lower gas prices, now or ever. The administration’s Energy Information Agency has said as much. American families are struggling right now, and they deserve better than waiting for a decade for a plan that won’t lower gas prices. They deserve better than a president taking advantage of public concern about gas prices to give one last handout to his buddies in the oil companies.
“We as a nation have the ability and ingenuity to implement a smarter plan of action. A plan that would crack down on oil speculation to bring gas price relief in the short term. A plan that would hold the oil companies accountable by pushing them to actually utilize the 68 million unused acres they already have leased. A plan that would tap the innovative spirit we have always shown in America. In the time Bush and McCain would take to start on oil production along our coastlines, we can transition to a new transportation model based on renewable energy and advanced alternatives fuels.”