WASHINGTON, DC : U.S. Senator Pat Roberts today supported legislation to allow U.S. companies to explore for oil and gas off the coast of Cuba.
Senator Roberts said, "At a time when energy costs are high with increased worldwide demand, it makes very little sense to ignore the resources just off our shores when other nations are free to reap the benefits."
Senator Roberts sponsored S. 2782, legislation introduced by Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) and Senate Energy Chairman Pete Domenici (R-NM), to allow U.S. companies to explore for oil and natural gas in the exclusive economic zone off the coast of Cuba .
"Right now China, India and others are developing oil and gas resources off Cuba´s shores, an area about 50 miles from the coast of Florida," Senator Roberts said. "This means foreign countries can drill for resources closer to our shores than we can. This is simply not right."
The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that there are approximately 4.6 to 9 billion barrels of oil and 1.9 to 22 trillion cubic feet of natural gas off the southern U.S. coast in the north Cuban basin.
In March, Senator Roberts sponsored S. 2253, legislation that increases domestic natural gas production by creating an oil and gas leasing program for Lease Area 181, 100 miles off the Florida coast in the Gulf of Mexico.
"It is obvious," Roberts said, "we must take steps to encourage new exploration in the United States and off our shores. Supplies from this area can hit the market quickly, helping to alleviate the pain of paying high prices."
Senator Roberts continues to work to promote an aggressive agenda for domestic fossil fuel production and exploration, as well as increased reliance upon renewable, biobased fuel sources.