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How Soon Could We Pump Oil?

Opponents of energy development like to claim that it is hopeless to drill for oil, since it would take so long to get it flowing. Barack Obama, for example, recently claimed that if Congress lifts the offshore drilling ban, it will take seven years to get any oil. Obama supported this assertion by misrepresenting a report by the Energy Information Administration. If you read this post, you already know how the Left is misusing that report.

Today the Institute for Energy Research followed up with more information about misuse of that report. I want to focus on this point:

EIA’s analysis assumes that leasing would begin no sooner than 2012, and production would not be expected to start before 2017. Yet, off the coast of California, some of these resources have already been leased. A report from Wall Street research house Sanford C. Bernstein says that California actually could start producing new oil within one year if the moratoria were lifted. The California oil is under shallow water and already has been explored. Drilling platforms have been in place since before the moratorium.

There are other areas, too, where pumping could begin in months, not years. Obviously full exploitation of our energy resources will take longer. But that is an argument for starting quickly, not an argument for delay. And we can at least begin to get relief from high energy costs quite rapidly.

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