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Press Release

Nation's Largest Taxpayer Group Celebrates Important Victory for Domestic Energy Exploration

For Immediate Release September 24, 2008
Pete Sepp, (703) 683-5700

(Alexandria, Va.) -- With the threat of hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer bailouts of private financial institutions, hard-working American families need relief now more than ever. And thanks in part to the efforts of the 362,000-member National Taxpayers Union (NTU), that relief is on the horizon in the form of domestic energy development, which can begin as soon as prohibitions on energy leasing on federal lands expire next week.

"The Democrats' concession on offshore drilling and oil shale leasing bans will allow development of our country's vast energy resources and -- most importantly -- will provide American consumers with some much-needed price relief in the future," NTU Government Affairs Manager Andrew Moylan said. "Congress's decision not to extend the ban will make available more than 86 billion barrels of oil offshore and, potentially, as much as 800 billion barrels of shale oil. While these resources won't be accessed overnight, the promise of increased supply in the future will help calm volatile markets."

NTU has consistently supported eliminating the moratorium and helped beat back efforts earlier this year to enact weak drilling bills stuffed with tax hikes and subsidies. After those defeats, speculation was rife that Democratic Leadership would attempt to sneak a new drilling moratorium into a bill funding the government. Just last night, news broke that Congressional leaders had relented to pressure and will not push such a provision.

Though the moratorium's expiration is a victory for taxpayers, lower energy prices could be threatened by renewed efforts to block access to the country's oil and natural gas resources. Moylan urged lawmakers to expedite leasing efforts and avoid legal boondoggles that could derail domestic energy development.

"Excessive litigation and future legislative attempts to unreasonably pare back drilling could stymie any progress toward increased energy supplies," Moylan concluded. "This is the first of many steps toward energy security and lower prices. Taxpayers have won a key battle, but we still need to win the war."

NTU is a nonpartisan, nonprofit citizen organization founded in 1969 to work for lower taxes, smaller government, and economic freedom at all levels. Note: For more information on NTU's energy policy, visit or