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Jennifer O’Shea, 202-824-7023
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 AGA Applauds President’s Call to Withdraw Offshore Drilling Ban   


Washington, DC – President George W. Bush today announced that he was withdrawing the executive moratorium on offshore drilling. Following this announcement, David N. Parker, the American Gas Association’s (AGA) president and CEO, made the following statement:

“We applaud President Bush for his decision to end the moratorium on drilling for natural gas and oil on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).  While Congress must still take similar action, the president’s decision today is an important first step in increasing our domestic energy supply and lowering consumers’ energy bills.

“Lifting this moratorium would significantly increase our domestic supply of natural gas, which is the cleanest burning fuel on the market.  Because natural gas helps reduce emissions, environmentally conscious Americans are demanding more and more of it to power their homes and offices. Removing the ban on off-shore production would go a long way in meeting the American consumer’s increasing demand for this clean-burning energy source, as well as our nation’s long-term climate-change goals. We are pleased that President Bush understands both the economic and environmental benefits of expanding natural gas production, and we are hopeful that Congress will follow his lead.”

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The American Gas Association, founded in 1918, represents more than 200 local energy companies that deliver clean natural gas throughout the United States. There are more than 71 million residential, commercial and industrial natural gas customers in the U.S., of which 94 percent — over 68 million customers — receive their gas from AGA members. Today, natural gas meets almost one-fourth of the United States' energy needs.

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