'They would prefer the job creation from domestic leasing'

US Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), ranking minority member of the House Natural Resources Committee’s Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee, at the subcommittee’s July 30 hearing on natural gas hydrates.

US Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), ranking minority member of the House Natural Resources Committee’s Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee, at the subcommittee’s July 30 hearing on natural gas hydrates:

“Domestically, our methane hydrate resources lie off the coasts in the Outer Continental Shelf and onshore in Alaska. Although it has been more than a year since President Bush lifted the moratorium on OCS leasing and began work to amend the current five-year leasing plan, we are no closer today in being able to access our conventional or unconventional energy resources, such as methane hydrates, for areas previously under moratoria.

“By delaying plan development by six months, the secretary of the Interior has significantly delayed the planning process and hampered the completion of other studies including environmental impact statements required to develop a final five-year OCS leasing plan.

“Meanwhile, environmental allies of this administration have filed lawsuits which have stopped all development under the current plan for the Chukchi, Beaufort and the Bering Seas of Alaska, the same with such great promise for methane hydrates.

“Furthermore, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee has called upon the secretary of the Interior to stop the planned leasing scheduled for 2011 off the coast of Virginia, the only Atlantic prospect included in the 2007-12 five-year OCS plan and an area with significant natural gas prospects.

“Meanwhile, Dominion’s Cove Point LNG terminal in Maryland is receiving liquefied natural gas imports from Nigeria and Venezuela, and Elba Island LNG terminal in Georgia is receiving imported gas from Egypt. While I don’t represent the people of Virginia, I know my constituents would prefer to have the job creation which comes along with domestic leasing rather than the energy dependence created by importing LNG from foreign countries.”

Contact Nick Snow atnicks@pennwell.com

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