Rep. Pallone on Why U.S. Should Freeze Expansion of Offshore Drilling

This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," April 30, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


DAVID AXELROD, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE ADVISER: No domestic drilling in new areas is going to forward until there is an adequate review of what has happened here.


NEIL CAVUTO, ANCHOR: All right, well, the White House today using the oil spill in the Gulf to put the brakes, at least for now, on additional drilling there.

Well, that’s not sitting well with four New Jersey lawmakers. They just sent the president a letter asking him to reverse his offshore drilling plan altogether, Democratic Congressman Frank Pallone among them.

He joins us now on the phone.

Congressman, good to have you back.

So, just stop it entirely?

REP. FRANK PALLONE D-N.J.: Well, first of all, we had a moratorium in place for the entire Atlantic Coast until about two years ago.

And we’re basically asking to go back to that, because this spill in Louisiana is an example of the kind of problems that you have when you do the drilling, particularly in the deeper waters, which is the case off the Atlantic. And if you think about...


CAVUTO: But, Congressman, you’re making it sound like an everyday occurrence. This is horrible, what’s going on there, but the last incident of this heft was, what, Exxon Valdez, 21 years ago, also bad, but come on here.

PALLONE: No, listen, there — there are spills on — every month in the Gulf. And it’s cumulative.


CAVUTO: There are rising gas prices every day in the U.S., right?

PALLONE: Yes, but what we’re saying is that we need to move towards renewables, have windmills off the coast.

CAVUTO: Fine, do it all. But I’m saying do it all. What’s wrong with just continuing this? Because you’re making it sound like this is a daily event.

PALLONE: It is — it is a regular event. And I know it doesn’t get a lot of publicity, but there’s spills, on the average, every month in the Gulf. And some of them are small and some of them are bigger. This happens to be one that’s incredibly catastrophic.

But that’s the problem. That’s why you shouldn’t have offshore drilling in environmentally sensitive areas, and particularly...


PALLONE: ...New Jersey.

CAVUTO: Even if these incidents, Congressman, occur every 20, 25 years, the big ones, the big ones, the big ones?


PALLONE: Yes, but it doesn’t matter, because oil is cumulative.


CAVUTO: Yes, but it does. But, Congressman, it does matter.

PALLONE: Well...

CAVUTO: We have got a serious energy problem in this country, and the place we’re getting it from people who don’t much like us. So they know, when they see something like this happen, you know, guys like you who have very good hearts are going to say, you know what? This is too dangerous. Stop it. And they are going to be clapping their hands and saying, way to go.


PALLONE: It’s not going to be solved with drilling. We have to look towards the future. And the future is renewables, solar power.

CAVUTO: Do it all. But, Congressman, do it all. Do it all.

PALLONE: I don’t agree, because I think this is what you’re going to get, and you’re going to see, more and more, you’re going to have these environmental problems. And we shouldn’t be looking at what is essentially an outdated way of trying to supply our energy. We have to look towards the future. Look at what other countries are doing.

In China, in India, they’re building all kinds of windmills and manufacturing solar powers.

CAVUTO: Absolutely, and so are we, and we should look at that.

But I’m just telling you, in the meantime, you put a moratorium on this sort of stuff and deny the idea which is rampant off our shores, you are going to be telling the American people, you’re looking at $4, $5, $6 gas. It’s around the corner.


PALLONE: The entire Atlantic Coast — the supply that’s off the entire Atlantic Coast is probably only a few weeks of U.S. consumption, whereas there’s a study now that came out that said that you could actually...


CAVUTO: Where did you get a few weeks? Come on, Congressman. A few weeks...


CAVUTO: Why would — why would all the major oil companies want dibs on something that’s essentially a few weeks of consumption? Come on. Get real.

PALLONE: Because — because the bottom line is, they make money. And, obviously, if they can make money, they will do it. But then there’s always the problem of a spill, which we have frequently.

CAVUTO: All right.

Congressman, thanks. We will see how it goes.

PALLONE: All right. Take care. Thank you.

Content and Programming Copyright 2010 Fox News Network, Inc. Copyright 2010 Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.