Rep. Fred Upton, the House's new energy issues chairman, will re-examine the White House ban on offshore drilling now that oil prices have climbed toward $90 a barrel, The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire political blog reports
. The Michigan Republican, who is incoming head of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, told executives of the American Petroleum Institute that he plans to convene hearings on the drilling ban.
"We've got problems ahead of us that we've got to be prepared for," Upton said on Tuesday at a lunch with the institute’s executives, who released a report calling for the ban to be overturned for parts of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic seaboard.
But one prominent oilman, T. Boone Pickens, issued a statement criticizing the institute’s report. The institute is representing foreign oil-company interests and failing to address "one of the greatest threats facing the nation — the national security risk of reliance on OPEC oil," Boone said.
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