Capitol Hill

Offshore energy development delayed

The controversy surrounding offshore drilling recently has subsided with the decline of oil and gas prices that has accompanied the global economic downturn. However, it's only a matter of time before energy prices skyrocket again as the economy eventually recovers and worldwide energy demand increases.

Current status

During fall of 2008, NRCA and the Coalition for Affordable American Energy successfully lobbied Congress to lift the federal moratorium on offshore drilling for oil and natural gas, which had been in place since 1982. NRCA and other supporters of ending the moratorium hope its removal will allow for the development of new domestic energy supplies that ultimately will help stabilize prices and reduce the U.S.' reliance on imported oil.

However, the Obama administration has delayed a proposal by the outgoing Bush administration to move forward with offshore oil and gas development, and it is unclear how the new administration will proceed on this critical issue.