Quick Action Needed On Natural Gas Vote

No time to waste: If retailers want to fight for lower natural gas prices, the battle could be over as soon as today.

The Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) is urging retailers to contact their representative in the U.S. House of Representatives to authorize expanded natural gas exploration in the Outer Continental Shelf.

On Wednesday, June 11, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior will vote whether to open the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) up to production of natural gas. According to ARA, the Peterson amendment to the Fiscal Year 2009 Interior Appropriations bill would authorize expanded natural gas exploration in the OCS. “Exploration and recovery of natural gas from the OCS would increase supply and almost certainly bring down the high natural gas prices we see today,” states an ARA press release. “The price of natural gas accounts for about 90 percent of the production costs of nitrogen fertilizer.”

ARA offers a sample letter at www.congressweb.com/cweb4/index.cfm?orgcode=ara&hotissue=6 that can be customized to explain the effect of natural gas prices on ag retailers, distributors, and growers and request support for the Peterson OCS Natural Gas Amendment. The association recommends following up the letter with a telephone call to your members of Congress via the Capitol Switchboard at 202-225-3121.

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