Gore's Energy Plan Has Little for Producers
Democratic presidential hopeful Al Gore's proposed long-term
energy policy has elicited a ho-hum response from independent oil
and natural gas producers, who contend it "falls far short" on
initiatives needed to boost domestic energy production.
The Gore plan, which was unveiled in stages last week, is
nothing more than a "continuation of the current administration's
refusal to adopt a meaningful action plan to address our
over-reliance on foreign oil and dwindling exploratory land
inventory," said Jerry Jordan, chairman of the Independent
Petroleum Association of America (IPAA).
The "only nugget" for producers is the vice president's proposal
to extend deep-water royalty relief for marginal wells in the Gulf
of Mexico, he noted. The program is scheduled to expire in
On the flip side, Jordan pointed out that Gore earlier this year
"vowed to keep and toughen" moratoria limiting onshore and offshore
exploration and development. This runs counter to last December's
National Petroleum Council study, which concluded the removal of
such bans was vital if producers are to meet a 30 Tcf demand market
down the road.
Jordan also noted that Gore's proposal overlooked several tax
reforms that would encourage more domestic oil and gas production
--- reforms that, he said, the Clinton administration has
In a speech in Philadelphia last week, Gore told a crowd that
"we are blessed with abundant supplies of coal, petroleum and
natural gas; we have to use these resources wisely." At the same
timer, producers "are [being] hemmed in by federal restrictions and
presidential fiat" that bar mineral development on many U.S. lands,
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