Although drilling and oil discovery does not have an immediate effect on supply, it does help bring down prices by way of speculators.  But a recent EPA ruling will not help.

After spending nearly 4 billion in exploration for oil, and finding it, in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas off Alaska, the EPA has refused to issue SHELL permits to allow the drilling.  At stake? 27 billion barrels of oil is estimated to be available-two and a half times the amount that has flowed through the Trans Alaska pipeline in it's 30 year history.  Enviornmental groups welcomed the ruling.   Many Congressmen are furious, and a new flurry of legislation has been launched to strip the EPA of it's drilling oversight powers.  Of note: the four members of the oversight committee on the EPA who made the ruling are Democrats, and one of them, Kathie Stein, is a former lawyer for the Enviornmental Defense Fund.  The drilling would be taking place over 70 miles from the nearest village, population, 245 people.