Bush lifts offshore ban: independence pending or a "bigger needle"?

The president has lifted an executive order put in place by his father barring oil and gas drilling in most offshore federal waters, a largely symbolic move since Congressional bans are still in place. So no new oil, just a slight change in the way the debate is framed.
Here are a few reactions to the news:

“Now is the time for America to embrace a comprehensive, long term energy policy that includes conservation, efficiency, unconventional fuels and all forms of American energy, including additional oil and natural gas resources, for the future.”

Barry Russell, president and CEO of the Independent Petroleum Association of America , which represents the 5,000 U.S. businesses that develop 90 percent of America’s oil and natural gas wells both onshore and offshore.

Political football isn’t production. While lifting the moratorium will force opponents of offshore drilling to justify their stance, $145/bbl oil does not guarantee action on off-limits areas.
While this will put pressure on national lawmakers and local governments, it is not by itself sufficient to conquer a complex web of competing incentives. We remain convinced that only the Eastern Gulf of Mexico is likely to be in play and odds remain no higher than 1 in 5.

FBR Research

“Now the buck truly stops with Congress: they still must lift their moratoria before production or even exploration can commence. Democrats were crucial last year in helping to pass legislation to reduce demand, but that is only half the job; now it is time to address supply. We remain hopeful that both parties will act swiftly, and that this progress indicates a turn away from the half-measures that have until now too often substituted for comprehensive, effective energy policy.”

Robbie Diamond, CEO of Securing America’s Future Energy

“In 2006, President Bush declared that the United States is addicted to oil. Today, he suggested we get a bigger needle.
“We need to build a clean energy economy that includes cars that go farther on a gallon of gas. In the long term we need cars that don’t need gas at all. We must dramatically increase the energy we produce using the wind and the sun, deliver more of it to our homes using a smarter grid, and slash our energy use–and energy bills–by making our appliances, homes, schools, factories, and offices more efficient.”

Jim Presswood, Energy Advocate at the Natural Resources Defense Council

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