Monday, August 4, 2008

Floridian Congressman Wants Offshore Exploration of Oil & Natural Gas near Florida

U.S. 7th District Congressman Dave Hobson Friday introduced a bill that would lift a congressional ban on offshore oil exploration near Florida.

The Republican legislator from southern Ohio wants the ban lifted to allow oil and natural gas exploration and production in the outer continental shelf waters that lay between Florida and Cuba. His Bolster America's Resources through Responsible Exploratory Leasing bill is a follow-up to President Bush's July 14 decision to lift an executive office ban on that type of exploration within federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico and off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.

"We need to plan for the future with a common sense and balanced approach to our energy crisis," Hobson said. "Part of that is exploring and producing energy right here at home.

"We also need to support the continued development of alternative and renewable sources of energy and to increase conservation. In the meantime, lifting the congressional ban on oil and natural gas exploration in outer continental shelf waters between Florida and Cuba will send a message to the rest of the world that America is serious about becoming energy independent."

The area affected by the bill is near waters where Chinese oil companies are reported to be negotiating oil drilling lease agreements with Cuba, Hobson said.

"Right now, China and other countries have the ability to drill for oil off the coast of the United States - we don't," he said. "The president lifted the executive office ban on offshore exploration and production, and now it's time for Congress to do the same.

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