Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Chambliss Highlight Georgians’ Concerns about Rising Gas Prices

U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., took to the Senate floor today in his continued effort to highlight Georgians’ concerns over rising gas prices and to urge Congress to take steps to increase oil supply by allowing for domestic exploration. Chambliss has been urging Georgians to contact his office and share stories about how rising energy costs are affecting their daily lives. Chambliss said he believes drilling off the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), as well as accessing shale in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States should be pursued in an environmentally safe manner to increase domestic production. Excerpts of Chambliss’ floor speech are below:

Mr. President, my constituents continue to suffer due to the ever-increasing price of fuel. They are facing very difficult choices, between food and gasoline, between driving to work to earn money for their families and driving to the grocery store to feed their families.

I was pleased to hear yesterday both President Bush and Senator McCain highlight their support to lease off the Outer Continental Shelf so we can increase our supply of oil to help lower energy prices for all Americans. Is drilling domestically the only answer to high gas prices? Absolutely not. There are other parts to the equation, but this is the right way to go.

In 2005, we suffered the most significant damage in the Gulf Coast region of our country as a result of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. We saw not one drop of oil spilled even though there are hundreds and hundreds of oil-producing platforms in that area. I come from a coastal state. There is nothing that I want that would in any way endanger the pristine beaches in my state or the costal regions of any other state. But we now have the technology in place to ensure that never happens. Secondly, we can do this in a way that ultimately lets the individual coastal states decide whether or not to opt out of this moratorium.

I'm hopeful that the Senate will come together to take this first step to increase our supply. Would I like to see more development? Sure. I support the development not just off the Outer Continental Shelf, but in other regions of our country where we know we have vast resources of energy, whether it's on the Outer Continental Shelf, whether it's in the shale of the Rocky Mountains, or whether it is in ANWR of Alaska or other areas of the country where geologists are fairly certain we do have additional resources. We need to explore so we can add to the supply that we have so in the long-term and shore-term, we can see gas prices in this country stabilize and begin to come back down to something more reasonable than what we're looking at today.

Chambliss is a co-sponsor of S.2973, the American Energy Production Act, which aims to lower the cost of energy by increasing domestic production of oil and gas in America. Specifically, the bill would authorize oil and gas leasing in the Atlantic and Pacific Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), if states chose to do so. It will also authorize oil and gas leasing in ANWR, and suspends filling of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) through the end of calendar year 2008.

Senator Chambliss’ floor remarks can be viewed in their entirety on his website later today at

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