McCain won't back ban on offshore drilling listen06/16/08 Mitch E. Perry
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Sen. John McCain today said he will urge lifting the two-decade-old federal moratorium on gas and oil exploration that covers most of the U.S. coast and let states decide whether to allow drilling. That opinion is a reversal for McCain, who has supported the federal ban in the past.
Speaking to reporters in Alexandria, VA, McCain said the U.S. must embark on a national mission to reduce its dependence on foreign oil.
Holly Binns, field director for Environment Florida, calls off-shore oil drilling the slowest, dirtiest and most expensive way to meet the countryâ€™s energy needs.
Just last week, a subcommittee in the House of Representatives rejected a proposal that would have lifted the ban on oil and gas exploration off Floridaâ€™s gulf coast. But the author of that proposal, Pennsylvaniaâ€™s John Peterson, says he plans to bring that legislation back before the entire House.
Most legislators in Florida â€“ Democrat and Republican â€“ have fiercely fought attempts to allow offshore drilling. McCain is suggesting that Florida and other states â€“ like Alaska and Louisana â€“ should decide for themselves whether they want to open up for exploration.
With gas prices still hovering nationally around $4 a gallon there has been more discussion and support for any sources of energy other than foreign oil.
A Gallup poll released in May showed that 57 percent of Americans want the U.S. to drill in coastal and wilderness areas.
When it comes to drilling for oil in the U.S , there is evidence that there is plenty in the U.S. that isnâ€™t off limits, but has not been extracted.
The U.S. Geological Survey has reported that the Bakken Field, which stretches along North Dakota, Montana and parts of Canada, could hold more than 400 billion barrels of recoverable oil.
McCain will officially call for the removal of the federal moratorium on drilling for oil and gas tomorrow.