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H.R. 6515 or the "Drill Responsibly In Leased Lands" Act was unable to get the two-thirds majority needed for passage today. The essence of the bill is to get the oil companies to begin drilling in the 68 million acres of available federal land open for leasing. Despite the propaganda on the right, the vast majority of available oil is on land and in areas offshore that are NOT under any current ban.

From Speaker of the House Pelosi's legislation page:

National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A): Mandates that the Bush Administration conduct annual lease sales for 5 years to ensure that the lands in the NPR-A are more rapidly leased for oil and gas production. Even though it has more oil than the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (10.6 billion barrels vs. 10.4 billion barrels) and it has been open to drilling for 26 years, only four lease sales have been conducted since 1999, and only 14% of the NPR-A is leased. The bill will protect sensitive areas, such as around Teshekpuk Lake. Unlike ANWR, which is protected by law from drilling as an environmental preservation area, NPR-A is already designated for oil and gas production so it could occur more rapidly. Based on EIA projections, oil production in ANWR is four to six years behind that of the NPR-A.

Extension of Oil and Gas Pipeline to the NPR-A: Requires the Transportation Secretary to facilitate the necessary pipeline infrastructure to bring the producing oil fields in NPR-A online. Right now, available pipelines reach to within 5 miles of NPR-A. The bill requires project labor agreements for both the NPR-A and Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline to provide good paying jobs.

Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline: Requires the President to work with the Canadian government, state of Alaska, and oil and gas producers to facilitate construction of the pipeline. While this pipeline was proposed in 1976, and Congress authorized up to $18 billion in loan guarantees for this project in 2004, there has been no progress in building this critical energy infrastructure under the Bush Administration. The planned pipeline would have a daily capacity of 4 billion cubic feet of natural gas, or almost 7% of current U.S. consumption. Not only is this pipeline critical to our energy security -- transporting natural gas from Alaska to America’s Midwest -- it will create good-paying American jobs and would be among the largest construction projects ever undertaken.

Banning the export of Alaskan oil: Reinstates the Alaskan export ban that was in place from 1973 to 1995, imposed to ensure that American oil helps the American people. In 2000, about 7% of crude oil production from the Alaskan North Slope was exported to South Korea, Japan, and China.

Use It or Lose It: Requires oil companies to diligently develop leases on federal lands (onshore and offshore) that they are already holding. If they cannot certify that they are doing so, they must give up the unused leases — so that someone else can develop them – before obtaining any new leases.

Fair Return on Production of Federal Oil and Gas Resources. Directs the Interior Secretary to take steps to ensure that federal oil and gas lease holders are making prompt and accurate royalty payments so that the owners of these lands, the American taxpayers, are fully reimbursed for their use.

Preserving American Natural Resources

Untouched Beaches and Coastline – President George H.W. Bush put in place a moratorium on certain offshore drilling by executive order in 1990 in response to the catastrophic Exxon-Valdez oil spill. A Congressional ban has existed for more than a quarter century, since 1981. Drilling would expose the nation's shores to oil spills and other threats at a time when coastal resources — fisheries and habitats especially — are already severely stressed. These shorelines and waters are also critical to the multibillion-dollar tourism industry. There have been at least 117 spills in the Outer Continental Shelf waters since 2000. There are 33 million acres of the federal OCS lands that are under lease but are not producing, and nearly 80 percent of offshore oil is already in areas that are open for exploration. Opening new areas to development would save consumers little at the pump -- a decade or two down the road.

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) – Alaska’s ANWR is one of America’s last pristine untouched wilderness areas – home to more than 250 animal species and birds. The potential benefit of drilling oil in ANWR is pennies per gallon a decade or two down the road – a point on which even Senator John McCain agrees.

While my favorite Congressman, Tim Walz, saw fit to vote for this common sense legislation as did nearly every member of the Minnesota delegation, Michele Bachmann and John Kline voted against this bill in favor of a mythical dream of $2 per gallon gasoline.

From the YouTubes:



1 Response to "Drill Responsibly In Leased Lands Act (DRILL)"

  1. Anonymous On July 18, 2008 at 5:37 PM

    Thank you for this post. I've been looking all over the web for information in relation to this bill, and this post by far has conveyed the most useful information. Keep up the good work.