Washington, D.C. – New legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Senate that, if passed, will dramatically increase domestic production of oil and natural gas in order to lower prices and reduce dependency on foreign oil.

Called the American Energy Production Act of 2008, the legislation was introduced by Senator Pete Domenici and seventeen co-sponsors from across the country. The bill will expand oil production offshore and in Alaska, producing up to 24 billion barrels of oil, enough to keep the U.S. running for five years with no foreign imports. Domenici said that in addition, billions more barrels of fuel would be made available through the development of oil shale and coal to liquids technology.

“The bill I’m introducing today will produce up to 24 billion barrels of oil through common sense measures to open up areas offshore and in Alaska for exploration,” Domenici said. “It will also allow us to develop billions more barrels of fuel through oil shale and coal to liquids technology. This measure will go a long way toward helping us break the cycle of dependence on foreign sources of oil.”

If passed, the bill will lift the one-year moratorium on developing oil shale in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah, allow petitions for leasing activities in the Atlantic and Pacific regions of the Outer Continental Shelf, and establish an oil and natural gas leasing program in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Coastal Plain in Alaska.

Connect with Autos.ca