Chris in Paris, AmericaBlog.com: What? There is land where they can already drill without disrupting the environment off the coast of Florida or ANWAR? What the? There are 68 million acres of untapped land with oil and gas reserves that's not being used? Surely Republicans and John McCain wouldn't be promoting new drilling just for political reasons, would they? Big Oil wouldn't do this to divert attention from the country detesting them with every bone in their body, would they? Let's see how everyone reacts to Congressman Rahall's "use it or lose it" legislation.
The 68 million acres of leased but inactive federal land have the potential to produce an additional 4.8 million barrels of oil and 44.7 billion cubic feet of natural gas each day. This would nearly double total U.S. oil production, and increase natural gas production by 75 percent. It would also cut U.S. oil imports by more than one-third, reducing America's dependency on foreign oil.
Nick Rahall's (D-WV) bill would force oil and gas companies to either produce or give up federal onshore and offshore leases they are stockpiling by barring the companies from obtaining any more leases unless they can demonstrate that they are producing oil and gas, or are diligently developing the leases they already hold, during the initial term of the leases.