Statement by Jim Presswood, on today's bill introduction to address high gas prices

Statement by Jim Presswood, energy analyst at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), on today’s bill introduction to address high gas prices. The bill seeks to open protected areas to oil exploration and neglects energy efficiency.  
“Many Americans are in real pain right now from high gas prices, but drilling for oil is not the answer. Oil production is at an all-time high and prices are still skyrocketing. We have only two percent of the world’s oil reserves. Drilling off of our beaches and in pristine areas is not the answer.
“High gas prices are the result of the Bush administration’s failed big oil policies of the past and this bill is just more of the same. More drilling would only feed our addiction to oil.
“We need real solutions to break our addiction to oil, like more efficient vehicles and increased energy from renewable sources like wind and solar. We need federal legislation encouraging a cleaner electric grid to power plug-in hybrids, and communities designed for freedom of travel, including improved mass transit and high speed rail.”
According to the Energy Information Association, “The projections in the OCS access case indicate that access to the Pacific, Atlantic, and eastern Gulf regions would not have a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production or prices before 2030. Leasing would begin no sooner than 2012, and production would not be expected to start before 2017...Because oil prices are determined on the international market, however, any impact on average wellhead prices is expected to be insignificant.”