Discussing Oil Industry and Exploration on Bloomberg

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... >> during the busy summer travel month, president bush announcing he is lifting the executive ban on offshore drilling, but before any expiration can begin on the shelf, congress has to lift the ban it has had in place since the 1980's. return to the no. 2 democrat in the house, one of those congressional leaders the president was just talking about, steny hoyer. leader of warrior, always good to have you here on ""money and politics."" -- leader hoyer. >> he lifted a ban, of course, which was put by his father after a very substantial spill on the west coast had occurred some years before, and of course, his brother opposed offshore drilling in florida. notwithstanding, i thought was political. the pretense that some of lifting that ban would bring down oil prices is, i do not think, accurate, but more importantly, there are some 33 million acres of outer continental shelf space currently available for drilling. the president pretends that somebody is standing on the door and saying that oil companies do not drill. that is not the case at all. there are 88 million acres available for drilling. 68 million in the lower 48 including the outer continental shelf and another 20 million in the national petroleum reserve located in alaska. we're going to have legislation on the floor this week that says, mr. president, have your administration proceed with getting companies to drill on the property they already have leases for. that is the quickest way for us to get more energy. >> leader hoyer, you have heard the argument that some of these do not hold that prospect, and it is true that it is open with the gulf of mexico, part of the east coast, areas of the west coast that truly could all potential at a time as of $4 per gallon gasoline, is it not a time to consider that? >> peter, again, many emphasize that if there are other opportunities, we should look at those, but we have to look at these. the oil companies might say, look, five years ago, it was not economically feasible to export their or to drill there. the fact of the matter is, that is not the case now. that is when gas was $2. it is now twice that. companies making the biggest profit they have in history. frankly, the exxon corp. made its biggest profit, $40 billion. less than half of $1 billion went into research and development of new product, so while i am sympathetic to the oil companies wanting to drill where they have the most promise, they have taken these leases. they have reserved them. they are not pursuing them, and we believe, and experts believe, there are vast stores of oil in those areas. there is more oil, for example, or closely as much in the national petroleum reserve in alaska as there is in anwr that they have been focused on. >> just to be clear to our viewers, that is an area adjacent to and more, an area that could be open for exploration. -- a adjacent to and more -- to anwr. >> democrats are saying, let's drill. let's get new products. any pretense that that is point to bring down prices in the short term, it will not. what will bring down prices ultimately will be looking to alter to sources of energy. we only have 3% of the oil in the world. those that have the majority are, frankly, holding us hostage. we need to become independent. we need to look at renewable sources of energy. so that our children and grandchildren will not be subject to being black made -- blackmail. >> what about leaving this as a choice to the state? that is what some republicans and talked about. individual states, virginia for one, a democratic governor. that stake, the common of there, as indicated an interest in allowing some exploration. how about allowing it for the states? >> what we are saying is in the short term, tomorrow or the next day, whatever, start on these leases you have already got. tell us if there is not oil there, then we ought to look at other places to drill, but it seems somewhat problematic to say, yes, we know we have a lot of places which we can now drill. ...