April 26, 2006

WSJ| Gas search along coast is pushed

I was wondering what would restart this blog after my two week layoff. I guess this is the story. The Winston-Salem Journal reports that 4 NC Republican members of the House of Representatives have co-sponsored a bill that would, on passage, open all the waters over 20 miles off the coast of the state to drilling for natural gas. The premise is that drilling for natural gas would reduce energy prices. Further the bill would only allow drilling for gas, not oil. As the article points out the process is the same for both and there is no guarantee what you will find when you drill. In fact the two are often found together.
Anyway it's just another attempt by gas companies to get around the state's strong opposition to off shore drilling.
To his credit Rep. Walter Jones Jr. (R NC 3rd) has opposed the bill
He said that any legislation that would allow for offshore exploration has to give states the right of first refusal to opt out of such a program, which the Peterson bill does not.
"I am not going to support any proposal ... unless the governor (and the legislature) make the final decision," he said.
Jones said he has not talked to his colleagues about the bill because he does not expect it to advance this year. If that changes, he will lobby them against it, he said.
I am not used to giving Rep. Jones many brownie points but he gets them here.
Its interesting that none of the 4 sponsors: Virginia Foxx, R-5th; Patrick McHenry, R-10th; Sue Myrick, R-9th; and Charles Taylor, R-11th are from districts anywhere near the coast. Taylor, Foxx and McHenry are from the mountains, Myrick from Charlotte. All 4 are arch conservatives and Taylor is is in a tough primary fight preparatory to a tough election battle with Heath Schuler, former Redskins quarterback.
The article highlights all the fallacies that underly the bill so I won't do so here.

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