Lawmakers are thinking about it:
The temporary moratorium for the heating season would echo action the legislature took during a special session in September, when lawmakers removed the sales tax on motor fuels for nearly a month in response to price increases following Hurricane Katrina.
“There’s a lot of talk by members … to bring some relief, particularly if these prices triple,’’ said House Speaker Pro Tempore Mark Burkhalter, R-Alpharetta, co-chairman of a legislative study committee looking for ways to dampen expected increases in natural gas bills this winter.
Another proposal will hopefully get serious consideration:
On Monday, Rep. Harry Geisinger, R-Roswell, suggested that the General Assembly support opening up the Outer Continental Shelf off the Georgia coast to drilling for natural gas.
A federal moratorium on drilling off the east coast has been in effect since the 1980s.
But Geisinger, chairman of an advisory committee made up primarily of industry representatives, said an amendment to the energy bill passed by Congress last summer calling for offshore exploration for gas failed in the Senate by just one vote.
“We are a consumer state, not a producer state,’’ he said. “This would make us a producing state and put us in a self-sufficient position.’’
Geisinger said technology has improved in the last two decades to the point that drilling for natural gas is no longer a threat to the environment.
Bravo Rep. Geisinger.