Hutchison: “America’s Energy Future Relies on Enhancing the Safety of Offshore Drilling”

May 18, 2010

Hutchison PortraitWASHINGTON, D.C. – During a hearing today on the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), Ranking Member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, said that the nation must enhance the safety of offshore drilling.

“It is critical that everyone involved in the offshore oil industry learns from this tragedy so that we prevent such accidents in the future,” said Senator Hutchison.  “Naturally, we are all concerned about the potential environmental and economic impacts caused by the oil spill and expect that the responsible parties will stand by their commitments to pay for both the cleanup costs and economic damages.  But we cannot be short-sighted.  Offshore oil and gas development are vital to both our current and future economic and national security.”

Senator Hutchison noted that drilling operations in U.S. waters currently account for about 27 percent of America’s domestic oil production and 15 percent of the nation’s domestic natural gas production.  She said that not only does this generate billions of dollars in economic activity and thousands of jobs, it significantly reduces our dependence on foreign oil.  According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) is rich in natural resources containing over 85 billion barrels of undiscovered recoverable oil.  This represents over half of the nation’s entire endowment of recoverable oil.  Additionally, the OCS contains 420 of the 1,400 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered recoverable clean burning natural gas in the United States.

“This oil spill should serve as a catalyst to further safety enhancements for America’s offshore drilling, including significant improvements to flow shut off technologies,” Senator Hutchison said.  “Homegrown American energy translates into jobs, and will enhance both our economic and national security. These resources help us reduce our reliance on foreign sources of energy.  Development of these resources can mean more revenue for cities, states and the federal government.  Affordable energy is critical for working Americans, and it is our responsibility to ensure both resource exploration and development are completed in an environmentally safe manner.”


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You can view Senator Hutchison’s statement here.