Contact: Marc Morano (202) 224-5762

Matt Dempsey (202) 224-9797  

Inhofe Stresses the Need for Off-Shore Drilling at Hearing 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, today joined several of his Senate Republican colleagues at a hearing focused on bringing down the price of gas at the pump. The Senate Republican Conference invited witnesses to testify to the enormous reserves that the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) holds – 18 billion barrels of oil and 76 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. These oil reserves are equivalent to 33 years’ worth of oil imports from Saudi Arabia and over 36 years’ worth of oil imports from Venezuela.          

“Today I was pleased to join my Republican colleagues in a hearing to discuss the critical issue of increasing our domestic supply of oil and natural gas through expanded offshore development,” Senator Inhofe said. “In addition to opening the OCS, I believe that Congress must allow the moratorium that bars leasing of oil shale to expire; I also believe that we must produce from ANWR as well.    

“Republicans have consistently proposed measures to address high gasoline prices by increasing our domestic production.  A vast majority of Americans now support offshore drilling and greater use of domestic energy resources.  By consistently raising the issue of increased domestic production, now even some Democrats who just a few weeks ago adamantly opposed increased drilling now say they’re for it.  However, proposals to open only small portions of the OCS fall short on an issue the American people support and on which we are making substantial progress.                  

 “America is not running out of oil and gas or running out of places to look for oil and gas.  America is running out of places where we are allowed to look for oil and gas.  The American public is demanding that the Democrats in Congress allow us to produce from our own resources.  I think we are all hearing their message loud and clear.”