WASHINGTON – In an effort to provide relief to consumers struggling to cope with high gas prices, U.S. Rep. Bart Gordon is urging Congress to require oil companies to use their drilling permits or lose them.A couple weeks ago law professor and Clinton administration official Michael Greenberger testified before a U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation hearing on energy market manipulation (catch it on the SPAN).
Gordon cites a report from the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources that says the federal government has issued thousands of leases that oil and gas companies are not using to drill on public land. According to the report, it is estimated from today’s production rates that the 68 million acres of federal land that is leased but not drilled could nearly double total U.S. oil production and could increase gas production by more than 50 percent.
“If companies used the permits they are holding and increased domestic production, the United States could cut oil imports by one-third,” said Gordon. “Congress needs to send a message to oil companies and tell them they can’t just stockpile leases to artificially inflate oil prices. We need legislation that will force companies to use their drilling permits or lose their leases and let someone else drill on that land.”
Gordon said he is hopeful that legislation will be introduced in the coming weeks to require the “use it or lose it” stipulation on drilling permits.
By the way something, here's some research that oil companies will be shutting down real fast--bugs that crap crude.