Government’s top energy forecaster: Offshore drilling won’t help at the pump.

Reuters reports that in a briefing today, Guy Caruso of the Energy Information Administration — the government’s “top energy forecaster” — said expanding offshore oil drilling would do little to lower gas prices:

“It would be a relatively small effect, because it would take such a long time to bring those supplies on,” Caruso said during a briefing at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on the EIA’s new long-term international energy forecast. “It doesn’t affect prices that much.”

In 2007, the EIA also concluded that offshore drilling “would not have a significant impact” on oil prices. The remarks today come after both Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and President Bush endorsed plans to expand offshore oil drilling in response to record gas prices.