Senate Democrats

Reid: President Bush Should Join Democrats for a Sound Energy Future

Washington, DCSenate Majority Leader Harry Reid today issued the following statement on news that President Bush increased royalty payment requirements for all new oil and gas extraction in federal offshore areas and lifted a presidential ban on drilling in Alaska’s Bristol Bay. “After several years of record-setting oil and natural gas company profits, the President made a good first step by reducing one of the industry’s many subsidies. It’s a start, but the royalty program is in need of more serious reform and there are still many oil and gas leases waiting to be renegotiated. Hopefully, the President will work with Congress to use some of the new money to transform our nation’s energy policy. Our national security and our energy future demand an Apollo Project-like level of new public and private investment. Billions of dollars will be needed to become less dependent on oil and to speed development of more energy efficient technologies and renewable energy resources. “The President’s announcement that he will open Alaska’s Bristol Bay to drilling is less welcome. Hopefully, the Bush Administration will prevent Exxon Mobil from drilling in Bristol Bay until the company pays the people of Prince William Sound the several billion dollars they still owe for the damages from the Valdez spill eighteen years ago.”