"As news outlets seize upon what is being touted by the White House as a monumental shift toward increased offshore drilling, it is vital that we separate fact from fiction.
"The ironic reality is that the Administration's new policy actually closes more offshore drilling sites than it opens. Had the
Administration done nothing, a lease plan was already set to take effect that would have opened vast expanses of the Outer Continental Shelf, drastically increasing our nation's ability to tap into our domestic energy supply. Essentially, President Obama has stepped in and halted that plan from going into effect and has, with his new plan, opened only a fraction of the land that would have otherwise been made accessible.
"Whereas we would have been able to drill off the coast of Virginia starting next year, this new policy delays that ability until at least 2012, while also reinstating a moratorium on drilling in the North East Atlantic and the entire Pacific Coast, and completely blocking any drilling in Bristol Bay, Alaska!
"The fact that the White House is promoting this policy as an 'expansion' of offshore drilling is so absurd it's laughable. Sadly, however, I am afraid many Americans will not understand the full reality of what his plan actually does, and will celebrate his decision today as an actual step forward in decreasing America's dangerous dependence on foreign sources of oil. The reality is that today's announcement is nothing more than a spin job intended to disguise the harmful effect this Administration's policies will have on our nation's energy security."
Congressman Franks is serving his fourth term in the U.S. House of Representatives, and is a member of the Committee on Armed Services, Strategic Forces Subcommittee, Oversight & Investigations Subcommittee, Military Readiness Subcommittee, Committee on the Judiciary, Constitution Subcommittee, and is Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law.