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 AGA Applauds President’s Call to Repeal Offshore Drilling Ban   


Washington, DC – President George W. Bush today called on Congress to repeal the ban on offshore drilling. Following is a statement from David N. Parker, the American Gas Association’s (AGA) president and CEO, on these developments:

"We applaud President Bush for supporting a repeal of the moratorium on drilling for natural gas and oil on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). His decision reflects the reality that America is in the midst of an energy crisis. Despite protests from some sectors, natural gas exploration is in fact an environmentally safe process that will increase our nation’s domestic energy supply and lower prices from today’s record-breaking levels, providing much-needed financial relief for consumers. It is estimated that up to 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas could be developed from the OCS, or to put it another way – 22 years of supply at current rate of U.S. production.

"Natural gas is the most climate-friendly fossil fuel on the market, accounting for less than 6 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions despite providing over 40 percent of all energy consumed by commercial and residential sectors. Because of its environmental benefits, natural gas will play an increasingly important role in meeting our nation’s climate change goals. With demand projected to increase by more 30 percent by the year 2030, the only way we can continue to deliver natural gas to our 64 million customers at a fair and reasonable cost is to increase supply. We are pleased that President Bush understands the reality of this situation, and it is our hope Congress will follow suit and take action to lift the ban on offshore drilling."

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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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