July 15, 2008

ATA Applauds Bush Decision to Lift Off-Shore Drilling Moratorium


Contact: Tiffany Wlazlowski of ATA, +1-703-838-1717

ARLINGTON, Va.,July 15/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --The American Trucking Associations today praised the Bush Administration for lifting the executive moratorium on offshore drilling. ATA also urged Congress to follow suit and lift its ban on offshore drilling as part of a long-term strategy to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil and curb skyrocketing fuel prices.

We need the ability to explore new, untapped areas for domestic energy supplies, said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves. The U.S. has an opportunity to improve our energy situation and continue to support economic growth, while providing consumers and businesses with the essential energy they need.

U.S. companies are seeking permission to drill for oil and natural gas on the Outer Continental Shelf, 100 miles off the U.S. coast. The government of Cuba, meanwhile, has already granted leases to foreign corporations for oil exploration just 60 miles off Florida. If the United States were to develop these resources, U.S. technology and U.S. environmental regulations will ensure that the environment is protected.

Consumers have struggled with high energy costs for everything from gasoline to home heating oil. The cost of diesel fuel has also pushed the prices of food and consumer products higher as the higher cost of transportation adds to product prices.

The U.S. trucking industry depends upon sufficient and affordable diesel fuel supplies to haul 11 billion tons of freight every year. Given current fuel prices, the industry is on pace to spend an unprecedented $170 billion on fuel this year. Environmentally sound expansion of the Outer Continental Shelf leasing program will help ensure that the U.S. trucking industry has enough diesel fuel at affordable prices so that it can continue to deliver the American economy.

Restricted areas of the Outer Continental Shelf contain at least 18 billion barrels of oil and 76 trillion cubic feet of natural gas that can be recovered using environmentally safe technology. This is enough oil to power 40 million cars and to heat 2 million households for 15 years and enough natural gas to heat 60 million households for almost 20 years.

Currently, wells in the Central and Western Gulf of Mexico supply 30 percent of the oil and about 20 percent of the natural gas produced in the United States.

Other resource rich areas, however, remain under moratoria, preventing exploration and production off most of the U.S. coastline. These restrictions deny American consumers access to vast domestic energy supplies. Expanding access to new areas would ensure adequate domestic energy supplies because areas currently restricted contain large, untapped resources of oil and natural gas, which are critical to sustaining U.S. economic growth.

The American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of other trucking groups, industry-related conferences, and its 50 affiliated state trucking associations, ATA represents more than 37,000 members covering every type of motor carrier in the United States.

SOURCE American Trucking Associations

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