Capitol Hill

Offshore drilling advocates gain victory

NRCA and other business groups experienced a major victory on energy policy when Congress allowed the federal moratorium on drilling for oil and natural gas off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to expire Sept. 30. The expiration of the decades-old moratorium could pave the way for development of new domestic energy sources, helping stabilize energy prices and reducing the U.S.' untenable reliance on imported oil and natural gas.

Significant expirations

Earlier this year, NRCA and many affiliated roofing industry organizations joined the Coalition for Affordable American Energy (CAAE), a coalition of business groups that pushes for measures to address skyrocketing energy prices by expanding the development of domestic energy sources. CAAE played an instrumental role in helping ensure the federal moratorium on offshore drilling was lifted.

The moratorium had been renewed annually in federal appropriations bills since 1982. It expired when Congress approved appropriations legislation that did not extend the moratorium for the first time in 26 years. A similar moratorium on developing oil shale in the Rocky Mountains, another potential source of energy, also was not extended.