Brian at Clastic Detritus has recently had an article about petroleum resources on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). I'm providing a few links for further reference, mostly in order to flesh out the history of the moratorium itself.
A brief history of the moratorium and bans on drilling: first, the initial moratoriums were passed as part of certain fiscal year (FY) budgets for the Department of Interior (DOI). The history and much more can be read here, and is summarized as follows:
- The 1981 moratorium only covered California.
- In 1983, a ban on "pre-leasing" was extended to the North Atlantic.
- In 1988 Congress enacted the first OCS drilling ban, as part of the FY 1989 DOI appropriations - this ban covered leases in the eastern Gulf of Mexico (GOM), south of 26 degrees North.
- Other extensions were passed in 1990 under the Outer Banks Protection Act, which included "moratorium language" for North Carolina offshore areas.
Marathon Oil sues the U.S. in 1997 over part of the OCS ban and certain leases it had been awarded in 1981 prior to the moratorium.
A 2000 update on OCS royalties, and more, by AGI.
A 2004 Geotimes article compares the way we manage OCS leasing and drilling with the way Norway does it, and goes into some of the root causes for our current ban (environmental, primarily).
MMS lists some U.S. Offshore Milestones as of 2006.
A 2006 Power Point presentation by a coalition for maintaining the current OCS bans, has some history and definitions.
A 2006 letter from the County of Los Angeles opposes the ban.
A CSN News article from 2006, wherein Bush says yes to nuclear energy, quoted in part below:
More Nuclear Power, Bush Says; No Oil Drilling, Pelosi Insists
By Susan Jones
CNSNews.com Senior Editor
May 19, 2006
Politicians of all stripes agree that the United States would benefit from a reduced dependence on foreign oil. But that's where the agreement ends.
On Thursday, President George W. Bush said the nation "must start building nuclear power plants." He described them as a "key part of a clean, secure energy future."
Bush spoke on the same day that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi warned, "We cannot drill our way to energy independence."
June 18, 2008 news from Energy Daily.
June 18, 2008 news from Poynter Online.
The Congressional Record online only goes back to 1983, but some information possibly could be found there, if you know how to look for it. I found it a little cumbersome.