Rep. Poe Misleads On Drilling In The Gulf Of Mexico

March 23, 2010 5:22 pm ET

On March 23, 2010, Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) criticized "anti-American energy elites" because "we don't drill off our own coast" in the Gulf of Mexico. That is not true. In fact, the federal government already leases over 35 million acres for drilling in the Gulf.

Rep. Poe Claims The U.S. Doesn't "Drill Off Our Own Coast" In The Gulf Of Mexico


Rep. Ted Poe:

Madam Speaker, there's a new push to drill for oil in the Gulf of Mexico. The "drill here, drill now" slogan is finally sinking in.  But the new rigs won't be flying American flags, they'll be Russian rigs drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico, right there off our own shores.  The Russians and the Cubans are now in cahoots to drill for oil we should be obtaining.  Then they'll probably sell it back to us at an increased price.  We don't drill off our own coast so we have to import more crude oil and it gets worse every year, and it's costing Americans millions.  Plus, Americans won't be getting those high-dollar rig jobs.  We have our own natural resources but refuse to explore them because of the elitist [sic].  We're a decade or more away from green technology when we'll all be driving those itty bitty cars that you can buy about a six pack.  But the anti-American energy elites dominate Congress and the White House.  Unfortunately, they'll let us freeze in the dark before they allow offshore drilling.  And that's just the way it is. [Poe Floor Speech, 3/23/10]

The U.S. Government Has Leased Over 35 Million Acres For Drilling In The Gulf

U.S. Minerals Management Service:


[MMS, accessed 3/23/10]

For Instance

Chevron Corporation:


[, 5/6/09]

Gulf Rigs Are Declining With Increasing Hurricane Risks

Forbes: "At Least 20 Oil Rigs And Platforms Are Missing In The Gulf Of Mexico" After Hurricane Katrina.  According to Forbes, "At least 20 oil rigs and platforms are missing in the Gulf of Mexico and a ruptured gas pipeline is on fire after Hurricane Katrina hit the region... According to the latest tally Wednesday from the federal Minerals Management Service, a total of 561 platforms and rigs have been evacuated in the Gulf of Mexico, which accounts for a quarter of US oil production." [Forbes, 8/31/05]

CNN: "Oil Rigs Leaving Gulf Of Mexico." According to CNN, "Oil rigs are leaving the Gulf of Mexico in record numbers, threatening to put upward pressure on U.S. oil and natural gas prices, according to a report published Wednesday. Drilling companies are increasingly signing long-term deals with oil firms to send their rigs to more promising drilling regions overseas, said the Wall Street Journal. Houston's GlobalSantaFe, for instance, agreed to a deal to send four rigs from the Gulf of Mexico to the Persian Gulf to serve Aramco, the Saudi national oil company, said the report." [CNN, 7/5/06]