September 22, 2008
Brian Kennedy (202) 346-8826

Speaker Pushing Stealth Renewal of
Congressional Energy Embargo

Stop-Gap Funding Draft Contains House Provision to Extend Moratorium on Most of Lower 48 OCS Lands

Washington, D.C. – Having failed to pass the required measures to fund the government for the next fiscal year, Congress must now pass what is known as a Continuing Resolution (CR) in order to avoid a government shutdown.  A draft of the resolution contains a provision taken from the recently passed House bill, H.R. 6899, to continue the ban on energy exploration and production on nearly all of the taxpayer owned Outer Continental Shelf in the lower 48 states for another year.  At present, the ban is set to expire at the end of September.  Dan Kish, Senior Vice President for Policy at IER issued the following statement:

“In 9 days the long-outdated ban on energy exploration on the energy rich, taxpayer-owned Outer Continental Shelf will come to an end.  But like a thief in the night, it appears our government is attempting to sneak a new energy ban into a must-pass spending measure, thus continuing the decades-old, government-imposed American energy embargo.”

“This move makes it clear that our government would prefer to stick it to Main Street as they bail out Wall Street.  With continued record gasoline prices and high home heating bills right around the corner, American families are calling for increased domestic energy exploration and production, not less.  Letting the OCS ban expire – as scheduled – is an important component of a sound national energy policy and adheres to the well-known precept of first do no harm.  Extending the ban fails that test.”

The language from the draft CR is as follows:


SEC. 152. Notwithstanding section 101, the terms and conditions for Federal oil and gas leasing set out in title I of the Comprehensive American Energy Security and Consumer Protection Act (H.R. 6899), as passed by the House of Representatives on September 16, 2008, shall apply in lieu of the terms and conditions in sections 104, 105, and 433 of division F of Public Law 110–161.

The Institute for Energy Research (IER) is a not-for-profit public foundation that conducts intensive research and analysis on the functions, operations, and government regulation of global energy markets.  Founded in 1989, IER is funded entirely by tax deductible contributions from individuals, foundations and corporations. No financial support is sought or accepted from government (taxpayers).


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