Our guest blogger is Daniel J. Weiss, a Senior Fellow and the Director of Climate Strategy at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.
Representatives John Boehner (R-OH), Roy Blunt (R-MO), and their gang of petro-conservatives have spent the last two months vigorously bellowing that oil and gasoline prices would be lower if congressional leaders would support their efforts to drill for oil in the protected Outer Continental Shelf. Today, they are holding a Capitol rally to support their drill-drill-drill bill, dubbed the “American Energy Act” (H.R. 6566) and being promoted as an “all of the above” approach to energy policy. Their memo, acquired by the Wonk Room, reveals their plans to push for a Big Oil agenda while paying lip service to the efficiency and renewable energy measures conservatives consistently voted against:
Memo Claim: “The legislation will … Open our deep water ocean resources, which will provide an additional 3 million barrels of oil per day.”
Truth: As T. Boone Pickens said in Senate testimony, OCS drilling advocates are “going to get a rude awakening.”
The Energy Information Administration determined that drilling for oil in the entire Outer Continental Shelf for “the lower 48 OCS, annual crude oil production in 2030 is projected to be 7 percent higher — 2.4 million barrels per day in the OCS access case compared with 2.2 million barrels per day in the reference case.” In other words, the total difference is only 200,000 barrels per day in 2030 — the minority leadership’s claim is 15 times too high. If Alaska is included, the total difference peaks at “3 percent higher,” or 270,000 additional barrels per day in 2030.
This same study determined that there are 41 billion barrels already “available for leasing and development.” There are only 18 billion barrels that are unavailable. Seventy percent of the offshore oil in the lower 48 OCS is already available.
Drilling The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
Memo Claim: “The legislation will … Open the Arctic coastal plain, which will provide an additional 1 million barrels of oil per day.”
Truth: The Energy Information Administration determined in May 2008 that, “In the mean [Arctic National Wildlife Refuge] oil resource case, additional oil production resulting from the opening of ANWR reaches 780,000 barrels per day in 2027.” The mean case reflects “a 1-in-2 chance of there being oil resources at least equal to the size of that estimate.”
The GOP assertion that there would be 1 million barrels of oil per day “is based on the USGS [U.S. Geological Survey] 5-percent probability estimate of technically recoverable oil resources in the 1002 Area” of the Arctic Refuge. In other words, there is a 1-in-20 probability that there is this amount of technically recoverable oil in the Arctic.